common burdock
Arctium minus Bernh.


Arctium minus grows up to 6 ft. (1.8 m) tall. It is a biennial forb that occurs throughout the United States. First year plants form large rosettes. A stout flowering stalk is formed in the second year.
Stem leaves are large, heart-shaped and very hairy on the undersides. Basal leaves are dark green, heart-shaped and up to 1 ft. (0.3 m) long.
Flowering occurs in July to October, when pink to purple flowers develop. Flowers are enclosed in a prickly bur.
One plant typically produces 15,000 seeds. It reproduces by seeds.
Ecological Threat
Arctium minus can become a problematic invader of pastures, hay fields and open prairie ecosystems. It acts as a secondary host for pathogens, such as powdery mildew and root rot, which affect economically important plants. Arctium minus is native to Europe and came to the United States via accidental introduction. Indirectly affects the development of economically important plants by hosting powdery mildew and root rot. Reduces the value of sheep’s wool due to the seed heads entangling in it. It is responsible for tainting milk products if grazed in large quantities.


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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Arctium
Subject: Arctium minus Bernh.

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
lesser burrdock, bardane, beggar's button, burdock, common burdock, small burdock, smaller burdock, wild burdock, wild rhubarb

Related Scientific Names:
Lappa minor Bernh. (Synonym)


Plants - Forbs/Herbs