Burdock – No Fun With a Fuzzy Dog

burdock leaves

burdock leaves

We have finally identified the plant that thrives underneath the lilacs surrounding the house – burdock! And it all has to come out.

When we first moved into the house, the dogs, the Velcro(r) on Tim’s work pants, even my tennis shoes were plagued by dry little “hitchhikers” (as my mom calls them). Every time I thought we had removed all of the burrs, I’d find another one stuck in the Border Mutt’s thick, fluffy hair. The dried seed pods are nearly impossible to remove once they latch on and are covered in fuzzy hair.

burdock blossoming

burdock blossoming

So we pulled out the dried plant material, but we weren’t sure what to look for when the plant was growing. Now we know.

The leaves grow very large and look like lettuce. They filled in under the lilacs quite nicely, and in June they begin to send up a flower stalk that looked a bit like tiny cabbages. Once the flowers opened, they took on the appearance of thistles, and they quickly became “prickly.”  I’ve read that burdock leaves will sooth a snake bite. I’m not sure that’s reason enough to keep it around. Can you think of any uses for burdock? – Stacey Morgan Smith

bumble bee on burdock

bumble bee on burdock

*** This site is comprised solely of the opinions of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She works to promote gardening and tourism in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.***

3 comments to Burdock – No Fun With a Fuzzy Dog

  • Bethany

    The roots are edible. You can eat them as a vegetable or make a cleansing tea out of them.

  • james

    i love this plant and you can’t beat a nice bottle of dandylion and burdock with your fish ‘n chips..On the gardening front i plan to grow it this year as a companion to my rasberry’s. The idea being that the roots of each plant grow at different depths, the burdock drawing up water and nutrients deep down and converting it into a low growing canopy, to shade and cool the soil for the rasberry’s . .but if it doesn’t work out i’ll just eat ’em..

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