Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Burdock, Arctium Lappa, the one species, with several sub-species distinguished by inconstant characters, of a genus of Compositae belonging to the tribe Cynareae of the sub-order Tubuliflorae. It is a stout biennial growing in almost any climate or soil throughout most of the northern hemisphere. In Japan it is cultivated as a vegetable, its young steins, the juice of which is watery, resembling asparagus. Its scattered leaves, often over a foot across, are cottony beneath, and its involucre of stiff hooked spinous bracts form the globular "bur" that gives it its name. Arctium, from the Greek arktos, a bear, refers to its roughness; and Lappa, from the Keltic llap, a hand, to the hooks. The corollas are all tubular and crimson; the anther lobes have appendages, and the fruitless bear several rows of simple pappus hairs.