common cocklebur USDA PLANTS Symbol: XAST
U.S. Nativity: Native
Habit: Forbs/Herbs
Xanthium strumarium L.

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Asterales: Asteraceae
Synonym(s): cocklebur, cockleburr, rough cocklebur

Common cocklebur is an annual herb, with several regional varieties, native to North America. Historically, the seeds were eaten by the Carolina parakeet, which is now extinct. Plants can reach 5 ft. (1.5 m) tall with thick, reddish or black spotted stems. Leaves are alternate, triangular, weakly 3-lobed and 1.2-7 in. (3-18 cm) long. Flowering occurs in July to October when flowers develop in the axils of the leaves. Fruit are ellipsoid burs. Burs are 0.6-1.4 in. (1.5-3.5 cm) long, green to yellowish brown and covered with projecting, stout prickles. Cocklebur occurs in ditches, fields, riparian areas, pastures, croplands, seasonal wetlands and other disturbed areas. Seeds and seedlings are toxic to livestock.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Fruit(s);
Jan Samanek, State Phytosanitary Administration, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Fruit(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Fruit(s);
Jan Samanek, State Phytosanitary Administration, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Stem(s);
Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s);
Bruce Ackley, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Seedling(s);
John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Fruit(s); immature fruit
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage;
Bruce Ackley, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Fruit(s);
Jan Samanek, State Phytosanitary Administration, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s);
Jan Samanek, State Phytosanitary Administration, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Feature(s); burs
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Seed(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s);
Jan Samanek, State Phytosanitary Administration, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s); USDA NRCS. Wetland flora: Field office illustrated guide to plant species. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
USDA PLANTS Database, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Seed(s);
Jan Samanek, State Phytosanitary Administration, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Fruit(s); Cross-section of a bur showing the two fruit cavities, the uppermost with a seed inside.
D. Walters and C. Southwick, USDA, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Fruit(s); Disseminule. Note numerous hook-tipped spines and pair of beaks.
D. Walters and C. Southwick, USDA, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

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Invasive Listing Sources:
Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 2009