Common Burdock

Arctium minus

Family Compositae (Asteraceae)

Notable Features
Leaves: Leaves alternate*, ovate*, with slightly lager bases and a somewhat pointed tip. Lower leaves somewhat wooly and covered in hairs on both the top and the bottom the first year. The second year, long, wooly flowerstems appear.
Flowers: Pinkish-purple, thistlelike flowers appear in clusters atop the hairy flowerstems July through October.

Size/ Shape: This roadside, waste land, biennial plant grows to be about 6 feet (2 meters) in height.

Location on Campus

(click for map)

Located on at the edge of J-Lot and the wooded area behind the Charles River Apartments.

After beeing boiled in several changes of water, the young leaves can be used in salads or eaten as cooked greens. The stems can be candied by simmering them in a sugar syrup. Also, the roots can be prepared like a vegetable after the hard, inedible, green outer casing is removed. The inner white pith can be added to salads or prepared like the peeled roots.

Except where specifically noted, all text, photographs, and drawings copyright Chris Bersbach and Lisa Leombruni 2002. No part of this page may be reproduced without the express permission of the authors.