Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: 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

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

19 members have or want this plant for trade.


Unknown - Tell us

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

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

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Fuchsia (Red-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
This plant is monocarpic

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

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

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 10 photos.
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No positives
3 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative plant_it 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."

Negative rebecca101 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 RLS0812 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 lupinelover 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 Terry 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.


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

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