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Growing Burdock, also Gobo (Japanese Burdock)

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec

Not recommended for growing in USA - Zone 5a regions

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 50°F and 68°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 24 inches apart
  • Harvest in 17-18 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Best grown in separate bed.
  • Burdock flower ( - George Chernilevsky - Public Domain)

Burdock grows wild on roadsides and waste places and around field boundaries throughout Britain, Europe and North America; it is cultivated in Japan. It grows to about 2m (6ft) high. It has dark green leaves with a long tap root

Keep watch for seed heads as it can become an invasive weed. The prickly balls were the inspiration for the inventor of 'Velcro', George de Mestra.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Burdock

Harvest in the first year when the burdock root is very crisp and has a sweet, mild, and pungent flavour with a little muddy harshness that can be reduced by soaking julienne/shredded roots in water for five to ten minutes. Immature flower stalks may also be harvested in late spring, before flowers appear; the taste resembles that of artichoke, to which the burdock is related.

It is a key ingredient in the traditional Dandelion and Burdock beer.

Your comments and tips

01 Feb 19, Allen Slone (Canada - Zone 2b Sub-Arctic climate)
Does burdock grow wild in Alaska?
24 Oct 17, Maryn Goldblatt (South Africa - Humid sub-tropical climate)
Where can I buy Burdock seeds or plants/
08 Feb 18, Astrid (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
You don't specify your city, but have a look at the Mountain Herb Estate web site: They are outside Pretoria, very helpful, and could probably courier for you if necessary. They do sell Burdock, but I think it's the Articum Lappa variety. If you are looking for a different one they might be able to source it for you or point you in the right direction.
07 Oct 17, Tai (USA - Zone 4a climate)
I am living in Des Moines, Iowa. I would like to grow burdock plants but I do not know they could be coming back the next year whenever the cold winter over. Please, let me known. Thanks!
28 Apr 17, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
How do they look like as a.plant
30 Apr 17, Jack (Australia - temperate climate)
Burdock is a biennial member of the Asteracea family so has daisy type flowers. It is not easy to describe the appearance of the plant. You could look up pictures on the internet.
23 Apr 17, Simon (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Where can I buy Burdock plants or seeds in South Africa. Alternaively_ where can I buy Seeds overseas?
24 Apr 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
I found some on . search them and enter 'burdock seeds'. All the best
04 Apr 17, Claire (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Hi Lanya, Some on-line suppliers have burdock
10 Mar 17, Lanya Murray (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi , where can I get some burdock seeds ?
Showing 1 - 10 of 64 comments

I am living in Des Moines, Iowa. I would like to grow burdock plants but I do not know they could be coming back the next year whenever the cold winter over. Please, let me known. Thanks!

- Tai

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