Belongs to: daisy family

Lesser burdock Arctium minus

Also known as: velcro plant

Best time to see: Jul to mid Sep

Key facts

Hefty, sprawling biennial with hooked, clinging seed heads, reputedly serving as the inspiration for velcro

Lesser burdock has heart-shaped leaves longer than they are broad and greater as long as broad, with hollow stalks

Greater also has larger (20–25mm) flower heads; both occur in rough grassland and on waste land


Flowers are thistle-like, surrounded by long shiny yellow bracts that close in cold conditions

An infusion of its roots is used, with dandelion, in a once-popular fizzy drink

© Tony Gunton

© Tony Gunton