Fall Wildflowers of New England
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Common Burdock
Arctium minus
F. Asteraceae
General Description:

Common burdock is a moderately large wildflower measuring approximately 30-150 cm. in height. It is most easily recognized by its rounded, spiny bract-covered structure and bright pink or lavender flower cluster positioned atop the terminal shoot. This wildflower has two types of leaves. The upper ones are long and ovate and the lower ones are furry and heart-shaped.

Arctium minus
Flowers:

Like most composite flowers of the aster family, the radially symmetrical common burdock bloom is comprised of numerous, long, rayless, tubular, pink or lavender flowers. The flower cluster, measuring approximately 2 cm. in width, rests atop a large, round bract structure comprised of spiny, brown, hook-tipped bracts.

Leaves:

The leaves of the common burdock come in two types. The larger upper leaves are long, measuring 45 cm. in length, and ovate with slightly pointed tips. The lower leaves are heart shaped. Both types of leaves are dark green with wooly undersides, wrinkled margins, and hollow leafstalks.

Habitat:

Common burdock grows best around old fields and waste areas.

Fun Facts:

The common burdock is an edible plant. Every part of this wildflower can be cooked and prepared in various ways for consumption.

The hook-tipped spines of the bract-covered structure catch easily on fur and clothing. This characteristic allows for efficient and extensive dispersal of the fruiting structure.

Arctium minus
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