Transformational Gardening

Disclaimer: Foraging can be fun, rewarding and provide health benefits. As a novice forager, I will be sharing my foraging experiences. However, in order to be safe, always consult with local foraging experts and guidebooks before beginning foraging. Children should learn to forage safely by being guided by experienced adults. Never ingest anything unless you are certain of the identification and safety of the plant. Some plant species are inedible and some are poisonous.

Common Burdock (Lesser Burdock) (Arctium minus): Images

Date Location Notes Images
May 10, 2010 Southeastern, New Hampshire Burdock is a common and unmistakable plant in New England. It is a biennal plant. Burdock grows as low to the ground rosette of large, wavy, lobed leaves in its first year. In the second year, a large stalk bolts out of the center of the rosette. The burdock in the pictures to the right are from a first year plant.

One way to tell the difference between Common Burdock (Arctium minus) and Greater Burdock (Arctium lappa) is that the stalk of the lower leaves of the Common Burdock are hollow. Apparently, Greater Burdock is more commonly cultivated in gardens and sometimes escapes into the wild.
Date Location Notes Images
April 25, 2011 Southeastern, New Hampshire Notice that even though the leaves of Common Burdock and somewhat wavy, they are shorter and wider than those of Cury Dock (Rumex crispus). In addition, Curly Dock does not have hairs on the underside of the leaves.

Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) can often be confused with Common Burdock. But Rhubarb does not have a white wooly underside of the leaves (as does Burdock) and Rhubarb has solid leaf stems that are tinged in red.

Greater Burdock (Arctium lappa) is similar to Common Burdock, but its leaf stems are solid (not hollow), it has flower heads arranged in flat-topped clusters and it can grow up to nine feet tall.
Date Location Notes Images
May 8, 2011 Southeastern, New Hampshire
Date Location Notes Images
May 21, 2014 Southeastern, Connecticut