About Project:

Botanical Name: arctium lappa

Fun Facts:

  • Is biennial.  In its first year, is low growing, but in its second year, can grow to 6' tall
  • Know as the first "velcro" because of the burrs it produces after flowering
  • Was an ingredient in the first root beer

Location found: Lives along riverbanks, disturbed habitats, vacant lots, roadsides and fields.  Can be found throughout North America, except in the southern regions.

Identification: Has large, wavy heart-shaped leaves that are green on the top and whitish on the bottom.  Looks very similiar to rhubarb.  Has a large tap root.

Second year plant

Second year plant

Edible Parts: First year roots and second year stems, seeds


  • Do not pick near roads, walkways or other areas where there is potential of the area having been sprayed with chemicals.

Culinary Uses:

  •  Roots should be scrubbed and bitter rinds removed by peeling before boiling for about 20 minutes.  Taste similiar to potatoes.
    In bloom

    In bloom

  • Young stems from second year can be picked before flowers appear.  They taste like artichokes.
  • Young roots can be chopped and roasted to make a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses:

  •  As a diuretic, is a blood purifier and helps eliminate toxins in the body
  • Can help with skin problems such as excema, psoriasis and skin dryness
  • Aids as an appetite stimulant
  • Good remedy for gas and indigestion
  • Contains vitamins C and E (both antioxidants), which help fight infections, cancer and neurological conditions
  • Contains inulin, which is a carbohydrate that strengthens the liver
  • Is antifungal and antibacterial
  • Helpful in cellular regeneration
  • Useful in the treatment of Hepatitus

Posted on:

April 10, 2017

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