Weed of the Week: Common Burdock

presented by the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council 

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Common Burdock is a biennial plant, meaning that it flowers and goes to seed on its second year. It is upright in shape, highly branched, and it has a thick, fleshy taproot. Its flowers are globe-shaped, purple, and covered in hooked bristles. When the flowers go to seed, they turn into burrs, which can stay on animals for several weeks, and therefore be carried 10+km.

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Common Burdock can crowd out forage grasses in pastures and rangelands, reducing yields and productivity. It is also associated with micro-organisms that cause powdery mildew and root rot. Burdock has potential diuretic effects and can cause allergic reactions due to hooked burs below the surface of the skin.

How to remove it:

Sever the taproot below the root collar (where the stem becomes a root) with a flat-nosed spade. Alternatively, mowing, tillage or mechanical removal will kill the plants at the first year rosette stage.

 

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