Ireland

Lesser Burdock

Arctium minus

Name also: Burweed, Louse-bur, Common Burdock, Button-bur, Cuckoo-button, Wild Rhubarb
Family: Daisy Family – Compositae, subfamily Carduoideae
(formerly Aster Family – Asteraceae)
Growing form: Biennial herb. Strong-rooted.
Height: 50–100 cm (20–40 in.). Stem branching, rough, short-haired.
Flower: Single flower-like approx. 1.5–2.5 cm (0.6–1 in.) capitula surrounded by involucral bracts. Capitula ray-florets lacking, disc florets reddish violet, tubular. Stamens 5. Pistil of 2 fused carpels. Involucre virtually spherical, woolly when young, becoming glabrous. Involucral bracts overlapping in many rows, long, branched, narrowly lanceolate, rigid, usually with orange hooked tips. Capitula a racemose cluster, branches straight, pedicels 0–4 cm (0–1.6 in.) long.
Leaves: Alternate, stalked. Blade broadly lanceolate–ovate, cordate-based, often large-toothed, underside white-greenish-cottony.
Fruit: Oval, virtually straight, brown, black-flecked achene, tip with short, yellow barbed down.
Habitat: Yards, farms, sometimes roadsides, heaps of earth in urban areas, wasteland.
Flowering time: July–September.