Saturday, October 19, 2013


Burdock is the last of the 3 common burs around here, and the nastiest.  It's big enough that I don't get caught with many of them anymore though; I've learned to watch out for them.  Not so the dog, who has no ability to distinguish plants with burs from other plants.  And if these burs work deeply into her fur, we have a problem!

Burdock plants are large and tenacious, with a deep big taproot, and very large leaves.  They'll grow to 3 or 4 feet tall if you let them. and the burs are nearly an inch across.  It doesn't take much to brush against a plant of these and end up with a few stuck to your sleeves.

This is a bur stuck on my sweatshirt.  It seems to get stuck in one spot and then magically wrap more of the fabric around itself, and the burs stick together on top of that.  It reseeds every year, and it seems that no matter how much I try to weed it out, several new plants return every year.

On the other hand, it has the prettiest little flower - bright pink with some white and purple stamens.  I was really surprised when I discovered what the flower of such an unpleasant weed was like.

And that's it for our three common burs.


  1. The Bur is not our friend here, as they love our Aussies fur which hurts them and takes me some time to remove ! Now thistles I like as they attract Finches and have colour to them

  2. What you don't have tickseed or cocklebur or Bidens? Loving this series.

    1. None of those are actually very common here. On the other hand, I encountered another common bur today on my geology hike, the Enchanter's Nightshade. And I encountered LOTS of that them!

  3. The burs aren't much fun. They sure have a beautiful flower though!!

  4. Oh how I hate those burs! We have two dogs that I mind who seem to always come back from their farm in Kingston COVERED with the darn things. We don't have too much trouble getting them out of the German Shepherd but the Sheltie is a nightmare. We have to be careful to get them off and into the woodstove without spilling any seeds because we don't have burs growing on my patch!

  5. That is a pretty big burr!! I don't run into any burrs around here.