Arctium minus, Lesser Burdock

Gardens & Landscapes, Invasive Species, Extension Master Gardener December 16, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Invasive Species: Arctium minus, Lesser Burdock

Lesser burdock is a tall (up to 6 ft. [1.8 m]) invasive biennial forb that occurs throughout the United States. First-year plants form large rosettes. A stout flowering stalk is formed in the second year. Stem leaves are large, heart-shaped, and very hairy on the undersides. Basal leaves are dark green, heart-shaped, and up to 1 ft. (0.3 m) long. Flowering occurs in July to October when pink to purple flowers develop. Flowers are enclosed in a prickly bur. The light brown seeds have hooks that can attach to clothing or animal fur allowing it to be distributed long distances from the parent plant. Lesser burdock can become a problematic invader of pastures, hay fields, and open prairie ecosystems. It acts as a secondary host for pathogens, such as powdery mildew and root rot, which affect economically important plants. Lesser burdock is native to Europe and came to the United States via accidental introduction.

What are invasive species and why should we be concerned about them? 


Taxonomy: Scientific and Common Names for This Species

Asterales > Asteraceae > Arctium minus Bernh.

Synonym(s): bardane, beggar's button, burdock, common burdock, small burdock, smaller burdock, wild burdock, wild rhubarb

Arctium minus - USDA PLANTS Profile

Distribution Maps

Lesser burdock - The reported distribution of this invasive species across the United States. (Source: Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States)

Up-to-the-minute distribution maps and why they are important

Reporting This Invasive Species

What is the best way and place to report the occurrence of an invasive species? 

 How to report an invasive species sighting to EDDMapS - Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System

EDDMapS - Report an invasive species to EDDMapS

Cooperative Extension Offices - Find your local Cooperative Extension office on this map provided by USDA

How to Identify

This invasive species can be identified by looking for the characteristics described in the paragraphs that follow.

Plant

A tall (up to 6 ft. [1.8 m]) invasive biennial forb that occurs throughout the United States. First-year plants form large rosettes. A stout flowering stalk is formed in the second year.

common burdock  Arctium minus Bernh. common burdock

Ohio State Weed Lab , The Ohio State University, bugwood.org

John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, bugwood.org

Foliage

Stem leaves are large, heart-shaped, and very hairy on the undersides. Basal leaves are dark green, heart-shaped, and up to 1 ft. (0.3 m) long.

common burdock common burdock
Theodore Webster, USDA Agricultural Research Service, bugwood.org Bruce Ackley, The Ohio State University, bugwood.org

Flower

Flowering occurs in July to October when pink to purple flowers develop. Flowers are enclosed in a prickly bur.

common burdock

common burdock  Arctium minus Bernh.

Theodore Webster, USDA Agricultural Research
Service, bugwood.org
Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, bugwood.org

Fruit

The light brown seeds have hooks that can attach to clothing or animal fur allowing it to be distributed long distances from the parent plant.

common burdock common burdock
Ohio State Weed Lab Archive, The Ohio State University, bugwood.org Ken Chamberlain, The Ohio State University, bugwood.org

Native Species That Resemble Lesser Burdock

 

- Images at invasive.org

   
bugwood.org bugwood.org

 

- Images at invasive.org

   
bugwood.org bugwood.org

 

Additional Images for Lesser Burdock

Lesser burdock - Images at Invasive.org

 

Learning Resources for Lesser Burdock

 

 

Additional Information, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Control and management recommendations vary according to individual circumstances. Location, habitat, weather, and a variety of other conditions are factors that help determine the best treatment choice. To find the safest and most effective treatment for your situation, consult your state's land-grant institution. If you will use chemicals as part of the control process, always refer to the product label.

United States Land-Grant University System - Find your land-grant university's College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, or other related partner on this map provided by USDA.

Weed Identification Guide - Virginia Tech

Weed of the Week - USDA Forest Service

Flora of North America - eFloras

Fact Sheet - MissouriPlants

Jepson Herbarium - University of California


 

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.