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Greater Burdock

Arctium lappa

Also known as

Beggar's Buttons, Bur, Burdock, Clite, Clod Bur, Clot Bur, Cockle Bur, Cockle Button, Cuckle, Cuckold, Gobo, Great Bur, Hardane, Hardock, Harlock, Hurr Bur, Kiss-Me-Quick, Love Leaves, Stick-Button, Edible Burdock, Lappa, Woodland Burdock

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








1 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

Greater Burdock Overview

The burdock plant is a herbaceous plant that grows to about 1-2.7 m in height. The thick hairy stems grow reddish-purple tubular flowers, which later develop into brownish-grey, wrinkled seed-heads or burrs with hooked spines. Close to its harvesting time, a deep taproot grows to about 60-90 cm in length and features a slender brownish carrot-shaped root. The root is very crisp and has a sweet, mild, and pungent flavour with a little muddy harshness that can be reduced. Burdock leaves, which are less used than the root, are collected in winter and have a somewhat bitter taste. Uses: Culinary and traditional medicine.

Common problems with Greater Burdock

Problem free

    How to harvest Greater Burdock

    The roots are dug in winter, and should be lifted with a beet-lifter or a deep-running plough.

    How to propagate Greater Burdock


    Sow seeds in Autumn about 2.5 cm deep. Germination time about 7-14 days.

    Special features of Greater Burdock

    Attracts useful insects

    Attracts bees

    Common carder bumblebees

    Other uses of Greater Burdock

    Culinary. Traditional Medicine


    Sweet, crisp taproot is harvested in the second year and the stems picked during winter.