Lesser Burdock Arctium minus

Arctium minus (Hill) Bernh.

Plant height 60-130 cm. Flower width 15-18 mm.

Similar to Greater Burdock (Arctium lappa), but smaller and with the spiny outside bracts tinted purple. A robust, shaggy plant, the flowers are bright purple. The basal leaves are large with hollow stalks. It is a biennial.

It flowers July to September, and is found in a variety of habitats including brownfield sites, roadside verges, field margins and woodland rides. Common and widespread throughout Britain except northern Scotland.

Also known as ‘Sticky Buttons’, this plant was the inspiration behind the invention of Velcro in the 1940’s by George de Mestral.

Burdock is know for its range of medicinal properties and in culinary. Dandelion and burdock has beena poupular soft drink since the Middle Ages.