Common burdock plant

Common burdock - Arctium minus Bernh.

Arctium minus Bernh.

Asteraceae family (Aster family)

MI Status


Life Cycle



Produces a large basal rosette the first year.   Young leaves are egg shaped and have coarse veins.  Basal leaves are heart-shaped with toothed or wavy margins. Second year plants produce large alternate leaves on a branched erect stem.    These leaves are smaller than the basal leaves and narrowly to broadly egg shaped.  All leaf undersides are whitish green below and dull green above.  They are nearly glabrous on the surface and finely pubescent below.  The long petioles have a furrow above and are hollow inside. 


Stems are hollow, hairy, and are grooved or slightly ridged. 

Flowers and fruit

Flowers will develop from the leaf axils or small clusters at the end of branches.   They are usually some shades of pink or purple.   The flower heads will dry and form a bur.  The burs will persist and remain on the stalks during the fall.  The hooked bracts will attach to animal fur or clothing to disperse the entire head.  Seeds are enclosed in the bur.



Common burdock rosette
Common burdock leaf
Common burdock stem
Common burdock flower
Common burdock plant





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