Arctium lappa 

Common name: Burdock

Family: Compositae

Origin: Europe

U.S. Distribution: Throughout except southern border and areas around the Great Lakes

Height: Up to 5 ft.

Foliage: Large, petiolate, the first year forming a dense rosette, the 2nd year distributed alternately on the stem, larger leaves toward the base

Flowers: Small red-violet disk flowers surrounded by numerous hooked bracts that later form a bur. Flower heads are arranged in raceme-like axillary clusters.

Bloom time: July - October

Habitat: Waste places where soil is fertile but undisturbed; neglected farmlands

Soil: Moist rich soils

Other: The root can be gathered at the end of the first year of growth when it is fleshy and tender. At this point it can be eaten raw or cooked. Some say the root has an artichoke like flavor. It is often used as a cleansing herb, supporting liver and kidney function.

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