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Burdock root

Posted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:47 am
by PunkRotten

Anyone grown this? I was thinking about giving it a try next year. How big does it get?

Posted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:35 am
by applestar
My Dad grows the Japanese cultivated variety -- I think it'scalled Takigawa or something similar. His grow to around 18" or more and the trick he told me is to have good loose soil and to dig a trench NEXT to them when harvesting.

I saw one of his trenches when visiting and I think it was almost knee-deep.

Posted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:07 pm
by rainbowgardener
I grow common burdock by accident because it is a common weed. Is that the same one that burdock root comes from? (after I asked the question, I looked it up, so what follows is me thinking out loud) It is interesting -- if you type burdock root into Google, you get a bunch of listings about medicinal uses of it. If you type burdock weed into Google you get listings about it as a noxious weed and how to control it.

I guess they are different burdock species-- the common weed is arctium minus (lesser burdock) and the burdock root plant is arctium lappa(great burdock).

But it's hard for me to believe that the species are that different that it might not become a big pest in your garden. You know burdock is where the idea for Velcro came from. Its burrs (from whence it is called bur-dock) have hooked spines that cling into everything, cloth, animals' fur, etc and are difficult to remove. Some creative science type decided to imitate how that works and came up with Velcro. The usefulness of Velcro does not cancel out the pestiness of burdock spines!

But I didn't know my burdock weed was edible/ medicinal. Apparently it has similar uses to arctium lappa. I've always left a little bit of it around because it is a butterfly plant.

I will have to look at mine more closely next year - I've heard people around here refer to our weed as great burdock. I'm not sure if that's just a mistake or if we might have both species around here...

Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:14 am
by jal_ut
Burdock by any other name is still a pest and it stinks. No thanks.

Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:54 am
by applestar
Here's where my Dad got his seeds. Looks like his variety is "Takinogawa"

Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:37 am
by !potatoes!
i've had trouble getting the cultivated varieties to get up to much size. i've had much better luck just harvesting wild plants (from acceptable locales, for the record)...

it should be easy to keep plants from flowering/setting burrs, too. burdock follow the usual biennial pattern - stays a low rosette the first year (at the end of which it's time to harvest), goes to seed the second year (roots get too woody then anyway).

Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:38 pm
by Gary350
Burdock weed grows wild here in TN. It is against city code rules to let it grow in town. Once you get it started it is a nighmare to get rid of all those seeds go every where then you have it every where. I sometimes get burdock weed in my garden from a load of cow manure.

Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:15 pm
by rainbowgardener
Oh and to answer the original question, especially if you are talking about great burdock, the one that is more often used as an edible/medicinal, it gets huge. Six feet tall with gigantic leaves. Even the lesser burdock weed is a large plant.

Sometimes if it comes up in an acceptable place, part of why I leave it is just for that huge leaf tropical look. Garden designers are very in to making tropical looking gardens, with expensive exotics. I can do the same thing with things like poke weed and burdock!