Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower).
Other Scientific Names: Two introduced species in BC: Arctium lappa, A. minus.
Other Common Names: Common burdock, great burdock, lesser burdock, wild burdock, bardane, wild rhubarb, beggar’s button.
Growth Form / Reproduction: Biennial. Seeds.
Legal Status: Weed Control Act (Regional), Forest and Range Practices Act.
Agricultural: Intolerant of cultivation; not a problem in crops. Invades pastures and hayfields. Livestock eat common burdock but the foliage can impart a bitter taste to the milk. Burs can become entangled in the fleece of sheep reducing quality and value.
Ecological: Because of its biennial growth habit, common burdock is often confined to areas that are not severely disturbed on an annual basis.
Human: Common burdock is regarded as poisonous because of its diuretic effects.
Habitat: Adapted to a wide range of soil conditions in moist habitats from low- to high-elevations. Tolerant to partial shade. Roadsides, ditches, stream banks, pastures and riparian areas.
Status and Distribution: Present in all CIPC Regional Districts; widespread in Capital and Strathcona, common in Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley and Nanaimo, limited in Alberni-Clayoquot, Powell River and Mount Waddington. Most common in CDFmm and CWHxm, present in CWHvh and MHmm. Common along the Cowichan River.
Management Strategy: Prevention by seeding and minimizing soil disturbance. Small patches of newly established plants can be eradicated by hand-pulling seedlings and rosettes. Mowing and cutting seed heads will reduce seed production. Picloram, dicamba, glyphosate, and 2,4-D are effective, especially at the rosette stage.