Great Burdock, Edible Burdock, Cockle-Button, Beggar's Buttons
Arctium lappa

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Arctium (ARK-tee-um) (Info)
Species: lappa (LAP-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Lappa major

Category:

Biennials

Herbs

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us

Height:

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

Spacing:

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Fuchsia (Red-Purple)

Blue-Violet

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Foliage:

Herbaceous

Smooth-Textured

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

This plant is monocarpic

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Menifee, California

Villa Park, Illinois

Valparaiso, Indiana

Melbourne, Kentucky

Cumberland, Maryland

Ewing, Nebraska

Omaha, Nebraska

Plainfield, New Jersey

Belfield, North Dakota

Medora, North Dakota

Glouster, Ohio

Jay, Oklahoma

Portland, Oregon

Du Bois, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Newport Center, Vermont

Roanoke, Virginia

Falling Waters, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

1
positive
3
neutrals
2
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On May 3, 2015, Scribbles646 from Troup, TX wrote:

Prolific and spreading hard to control once established but it certainly has its uses, it sometimes grows on the edges of fields and forests particularly the moist areas with rich organic soil(but it can tolerate marginal soil). The young leaf steams are edible when still light green, as the stems get older they develop a red color and get fibrous and bitter, the young green stems are a yearly treat if you have access to lots of them, they are quite good batter dipped and fried. Foragers and survivalists may find use of the leaves to wrap wild food for open fire cooking. The roots of the older plants are said to be edible, and I was surprised to find out the roots are eaten by people more often then young stems(which I really like).

Negative

On May 26, 2011, plant_it from Valparaiso, IN wrote:

Tap roots go to 4 ft, hard to get rid of. Biennial plant that develops horrible burs in second year. 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. Burdocks burrs act like Velcro to trap birds and bats unfortunate enough to come in contact with them." http://www.wihumane.org/wildlife/burdock.aspx

Negative

On Oct 9, 2006, rebecca101 from Madison, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

I love burdock (to eat) and so decided to grow some from seed in my garden - big mistake! It is terribly invasive and difficult to get rid of. I realized later that our community garden actually forbids growing it. It grows to a huge plant (8 ft or so?) with very deep, thick roots (much deeper than I can dig). It has tough woody stalks that must be sawed off. The seeds are borne in prickly seed burrs, which stick to clothing and everything else, so it's very difficult to avoid spreading seeds around. It regrows from a small piece of root left in the ground, which is almost inevitable. So beware!

Neutral

On Oct 15, 2004, RLS0812 from Du Bois, PA wrote:

Every part of the plant is edible. I make salads out of newer leaves, eat fresh roots, cut the stalks, and use them like cellery, and also dry the roots and leaves out to make teas.
The flower can also be used, befor the seeds develope.

Neutral

On Jan 25, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Burdock has a very long history of medicinal use. As with any other medicine, only a trained herbalist should prescribe for serious ailments. First-aid remedies include a topical relief for minor bites and rashes.

Neutral

On Jan 21, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Burdock is a pasture weed, but is also grown for its edible roots, which are said to taste like artichoke and can be eaten raw or cooked.