Arctium minus - Lesser Burdock

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Asterales - Family: Asteraceae

Lesser burdock

This prickly wildflower is not in fact a member of the dock family; it belongs to the daisy family, Asteraceae. Burdocks bloom from July until September, and they are generally found in shady places or on waste ground. Typically, the plant grows to a metre, with flower heads between 15 mm and 30 mm in diameter. The seed heads, or burs, have hooked bracts and become attached to the fur of animals; in this way the seeds are distributed.

Another burdock that you will find in Wales and throughout the UK is the Greater Burdock, Arctium lappa. It is very similar to lesser burdock, but has rounder leaves and rounder, somewhat larger flowers: the flowers of greater burdock can be up to 40 mm in diameter.

The plant shown on this page was photographed in West Wales.


Volume 1

We hope that you have found this information helpful. If so we are sure you would find our books Wonderful Wildflowers of Wales, vols 1 to 4, by Sue Parker and Pat O'Reilly very useful too. Buy copies here...

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