Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Arctium minus
common burdock, lesser burdock

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British to California, east across North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Roadsides, fields, meadows, wastelots, and other disturbed open areas at low to middle elevations.

Flowers: July-October

Origin: Introduced

Growth Duration: Biennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bees, butterflies, beetles


Coarse, perennial herb up to 1.5 m. tall.


Petiolate, the blade narrowly to broadly ovate, often cordate, up to 3 dm. long and 2.5 dm. wide, gradually reduced upward, nearly glabrous on both surfaces.


Inflorescence of short racemes arising from the leaf axils and terminal; involucre sub-globose, with narrow, spreading hooked bracts, 1.5-2.5 cm. in diameter overall; corolla tubular with long lobes, purple.

Identification Notes:

The only other Arctium species found here, A. lappa, has larger involucres and glandular peduncles.

Accepted Name:
Arctium minus (Hill) Bernh.
Publication: Syst. Verz. 154. 1800.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Arctium minus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Arctium minus checklist entry

OregonFlora: Arctium minus information

E-Flora BC: Arctium minus atlas page

CalPhotos: Arctium minus photos

47 photographs:
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