T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Arctium minus (Burdock)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Arctium
Species: Arctium minus
Common name: Burdock, Lesser burdock, Common burdock

Arctium minus blooms from January -April with purple flower heads. The prickly heads of these plants (burrs) are noted for easily catching on to fur and clothing (being the inspiration for Velcro, thus providing an excellent mechanism for seed dispersal. The plant has a taproot and can be 0.5 to 2.5 m long.
This plant habitat is forest margins, creek beds pastures and waste places.
The green, above-ground portions may cause contact dermatitis in humans due to the lactones the plant produces.