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Arctium minus - (Hill.)Bernh.

Common Name Lesser Burdock
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this plant, some caution is advised due to the following report for the closely related A. lappa[K]. Care should be taken if harvesting the seed in any quantity since tiny hairs from the seeds can be inhaled and these are toxic[205].
Habitats Waste ground, edges of woods, roadsides etc[5, 13].
Range Most of Europe, including Britain, south and east to N. Africa and the Caucasus.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (5 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Arctium minus Lesser Burdock


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Illustration_Arctium_minor0.jpg
Arctium minus Lesser Burdock
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Alberto_Salguero

 

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Summary

A European native weed invasive in Australia, North and South America, and other areas. Very good medicinal and edible properties. The edible parts: include the leaves; root; seed; and Stem. Burdock is one of the foremost detoxifying herbs in both Chinese and Western herbal medicine.It’s fibre has also been used for paper. Other Names: bardane, beggar's button, button-bur, common burdock, burweed, cuckoo-button, lesser burdock, louse-bur, wild burdock, wild rhubarb.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Arctium minus is a BIENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root;  Seed;  Stem.
Edible Uses: Coffee.

Root - raw or cooked[62, 85]. The best roots are obtained from young plants[85]. Usually peeled and sliced[183]. The roasted root is a coffee substitute[183]. Young leaves and leaf stems - raw or cooked[85]. Used as a potherb[183]. Mucilaginous. It is best to remove the rind from the stem[85]. Young flowering stem - peeled and eaten raw or cooked like asparagus[177, 183]. Seed sprouts[55]. No further details.

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Alterative;  Antibacterial;  Antifungal;  Aperient;  Blood purifier;  Carminative;  Cholagogue;  Diaphoretic;  
Diuretic;  Hypoglycaemic.

Burdock is one of the foremost detoxifying herbs in both Chinese and Western herbal medicine[254]. Arctium lappa is the main species used, though this species has similar properties[254]. The dried root of one year old plants is the official herb, but the leaves and fruits can also be used[4]. It is used to treat conditions caused by an 'overload' of toxins, such as throat and other infections, boils, rashes and other skin problems[254]. The root is thought to be particularly good at helping to eliminate heavy metals from the body[254]. The plant is antibacterial, antifungal and carminative[9, 21, 147, 165, 176]. It has soothing, mucilaginous properties and is said to be one of the most certain cures for many types of skin diseases, burns, bruises etc[4, 244]. It is used in the treatment of herpes, eczema, acne, impetigo, ringworm, boils, bites etc[244]. The plant can be taken internally as an infusion, or used externally as a wash[244]. Use with caution[165]. One-year old roots are alterative, aperient, blood purifier, cholagogue, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic and stomachic[218, 222]. The seed is alterative, antibacterial, antifungal, antiphlogistic, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic and hypoglycaemic[176, 218]. It is used in the treatment of colds with sore throat and cough, measles, pharyngitis, acute tonsillitis and abscesses[176]. The crushed seed is poulticed onto bruises[222]. The seed is harvested in the summer and dried for later use[254]. The seed contains arctiin, this excites the central nervous system producing convulsions an increase in respiration and later paralysis. It also lowers the blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels[176]. The leaves are poulticed onto burns, ulcers and sores[222].

Other Uses

Paper.

A fibre is obtained from the inner bark and is used to make paper. It is about 0.9mm long[189]. The stems are harvested in late summer, the leaves are removed and the stems steamed in order to strip off the fibre. The fibres are then cooked for two hours in soda ash before being put in a ball mill for 2 hours[189]. The resulting paper is a light tan/ brown colour[189].

Cultivation details

Succeeds on most soils, preferably moist[200]. Prefers a sunny position. Prefers partial shade according to another report[200]. A polymorphic species[17]. A good butterfly plant[24].

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Propagation

Seed - best sown in situ in autumn.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

This plant can be weedy or invasive. Noxious Weed Information: Colorado (common burdock) C list (noxious weeds). Wyoming (common burdock) Noxious weed.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants

 

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Author

(Hill.)Bernh.

Botanical References

17200

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