Friday, December 21, 2007

Burdock




Since we began walking in the woods again, Jo, I and the dogs have been doing an excellent job of collecting and disbursing burdock seeds. There's quite a lot of burdock growing along some sections of the trail we normally walk.





A close look at burdock burrs makes it easy to see why they adhere so easily and so tenaciously to pants, socks, shoe laces and dogs' fur. It's also easy to see how burdock burrs served as the inspiration for the invention of Velcro.

Missouri Plants has more information and prettier photos of burdock plants and blooms.
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14 comments:

evlahos said...

great captures, very interesting blog

Marvin said...

Thank you, Vaggels.

Lana Gramlich said...

I haven't seen burdock since I moved to southern Louisiana. Just such a different climate down here! While in Canada, however, I was gladdened to learn that drenching burrs in vaseline made them easier to remove from dogs' fur (particularly as I had a Siberian husky with a very fuzzy tail!)

hillbilly2be said...

Wow, more beautiful photography, Marvin. Thanks for the Missouri plants link - I had not seen that one before.

It's the shortest day of the year!

Ron

Cathy said...

The Burdock Plant certainly is pretty in bloom.

Marvin said...

Lana: Thanks for the Vaseline tip. So far, we've discovered the burrs soon enough that they really weren't too much of a problem to remove. At this time of year, the burrs are so dry and fragile, I can see how the Vaseline would help work them out of a dog's coat.

Ron: Thanks. I usually end up on that Missouri plants site because it has the most information. However, it can be awfully slow moving on a dial up and doesn't use any common names. I try to get a scientific name from another site or, most often, a field guide. Then, the home page has a link where you can go directly to scientific names and then directly to the plant.


Here's another
Missouri wildflower guide if you haven't already found it.

Cathy: Yes, burdock has a pretty thistle-like bloom and I think the plant itself is attractive. It's just those &%$#! burrs that can be a pain.

Dave said...

I remember them well from living down south. You won't find them on walks around here. Nice pix's.

Marvin said...

Thanks, Dave. I grew up on the Texas coast. There was no burdock there either. It seems to prefer growing in the middle of North America -- a large area in the middle, though.

Mary said...

I haven't seen burdock since I lived in Maryland. They frightened me as a child and I still avoid them.

Marvin said...

Mary: Burdock burrs are definitely an item appropriate for one's "avoid" list.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Lots of burdock here! Not my favourite. The root of the first year plant is edible, a good source of starch, It has some saving graces! I hate when the cattle get in it and spread seed all over.

Nice pictures of it.

Marvin said...

I knew the first year roots were considered edible, but I confess, I've never given them a try.

Thanks for visiting, Phillip.

lisa said...

Ah yes, I remember burdock very well from living in Indiana...I picked a ton of it out of my horses tail every year. No fun. So far I haven't encountered it here in Wisconsin, but I'd bet it's here somewhere. (Heh, like my "round tuit" ;-)

Marvin said...

I'd gladly send you some seeds, Lisa.