In woodland margins, in disturbed areas, prefers full sun. End of May in zone 5 and the leafs of this plant are already 3 times as big as my hand. I also see this plant growing in farmers fields that have not been planted yet. Any idea what it is?
I've been reading about this plant since your posts. Here's what I've found out:
"The caterpillars of several Papaipema spp. (Borer Moths) bore through the pith of the stems, including Papaipema cataphracta (Burdock Borer Moth), Papaipema arctivorens (Northern Burdock Borer Moth), and Papaipema rigida (Rigid Sunflower Borer Moth). The foliage of Common Burdock is one of the food sources for the caterpillars of the butterfly Vanessa cardui (Painted Lady)." http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/cm_burdock.htm
wonderful medicinal value to humans
the bad & the ugly-
Little redeeming value to wildlife. Deer will browse this plant only if no other food is available. Burs stick to clothes, animal fur and can even be fatal to birds: "Common Burdock (Arctium minus) is an invasive, exotic plant that can be deadly to small birds like kinglets, warblers and bats. Burdock’s burrs act like Velcro to trap birds and bats unfortunate enough to come in contact with them." http://www.wihumane.org/wildlife/burdock.aspx
[quote="plant_it"]"... that can be deadly to small birds like kinglets, warblers and bats. Burdock’s burrs act like Velcro to trap birds and bats unfortunate enough to come in contact with them." [/quote]
This has been known to happen, but only very, very rarely - it isn't a serious problem.