Burdock (Arctium spp.)

external image burdock%20flowers.jpg external image common_burdock_seed.jpg

Scientific Name:Arctium spp.
Common Name(s): Burdock
Origin: Biennial weeds common in farmyards, fencelines, roadsides, streambanks and idle areas.
Identification: Well known for their rounded flower heads with hooked spines that easily attach to clothing and animals
Characteristics: Common burdock is intolerant of cultivation. Livestock eat the leaves, and the foliage can impart a bitter taste in milk. Burrs can become entangled in the fleece of sheep, damaging the quality and reducing the value of wool. Burdock has diuretic properties. Large leaves harvested with forage crops can result in mouldy hay.
Habitat: found at low- to mid-elevations in grasslands and forests, along roadsides, ditches, stream banks, pastures, and disturbed habitats. It is frequent in coastal, west central, and southern British Columbia and a major concern in the Okanagan, Thompson, Cariboo, Omineca, and Peace regions.
Control/ eradication recommendations:Many practices and herbicides maintain and control common burdock; therefore, with timely weed management activities, common burdock should be relatively easy to control. The following herbicides were listed as having excellent control on common burdock: 2,4-D, MCPA, 2,4-DB, and dicamba. Glyphosate is listed as having good control (Klingman, et al. 1983). For soybeans, 2,4-D ester applied no less than seven days before planting should prove effective. 2,4-D can be used in corn with preplant, pre and post options. Pre plant treatmetns must be applied 7-14 days before planting. Roundup as a burnddown treatment in no-till systems or in glyphosate-resistant crops gives acceptable burdock control. Thorough cultivation should kill most burdock plants. Mowing may prove to be effective method of control.