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Lesser Burdock (Arctium minus) or ‘sticky buds’

Monday 21st August 2017

Known colloquially as sticky buds due to the inch wide egg shaped bur heads which are surrounded by thick, hook shaped hairs. Generations of children have thrown them at one another when walking home from school helping spread this wildflower on hedges and field edges throughout Britain. At up to 5 feet tall it can be seen on the ride up to the woodland and is distinctive due to its burrs and hairy heart shaped leaves with pink or lavender flowers up to an inch wide, looking a little like thistles. Lesser burdock can be distinguishes from greater burdock by its diminutive size and the channel along the top of leaf stalks, similar to rhubarb.

By Tom Cowley

Fun facts: Lesser burdock is used as a medicine, the dried root was considered an official drug as a blood purifier. The root, leaves and stem are all edible and the root can be roasted as a coffee substitute.

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