Edible burdock is a member of the Compositae family. Some of the other common names by which burdock is known are gobo (Japanese name) and ngau pong (Chinese name), There are two botanical species of burdock, A. lappa and A. minus. The one found growing wild throughout much of the United States is A. minus and is only slightly comparable to the cultivated A. lappa. Gobo (Arctium lappa burdock) is a choice chinese vegetable.
Although this Asian burdock has escaped and now grows wild and thrives throughout the United States, it is not native. It was introduced by the early settlers and was quickly adopted by the American Indians for their own gardens. These coarse perennial plants are weeds in many temperate areas. The tops die down in the winter. New sprouts arising from roots in spring are peeled and eaten raw or cooked. The dried roots from the first year's growth and the seed are used medicinally.
While the young leaves and stems are edible when prepared like spinach and asparagus, the most desired part of the plant is the long slender root. When very young, the roots can be gathered, peeled, and eaten raw like radishes (add a little salt). The mature root should be peeled, scalded, and then cooked any way desired. If not dug for root, flowers purple to a height of 7' in 2nd year.
The flavor of burdock varies with conditions, but is similar to the taste of Jerusalem artichokes, scorzonera, or parsnips. It is sweetly pungent and agreeable. The texture is crisp when raw. Wild American burdock is very bitter and must be cooked in a manner to remove the bitterness.
PLANT TYPE 01
Seed Packet Size