|Burdock illustration from Project Runebergs edition of "Bilder ur Nordens Flora".|
Burdock, refers any of a group of perennial flowering plants in the Genus Arctium — thistles in the Family Asteraceae. Burdock grows wild throughout most of Europe and Asia, where it is noted primarily for its burrs that cling to clothing and hair.
The taproot of young burdock plants can be harvested and eaten like parsnip. While generally out of favor in modern European cuisine, it remains popular in Asian cuisine. Immature flower stalks may also be harvested in late spring, before flowers appear; the taste resembles artichoke, to which the burdock is related.
Folk herbalists consider dried burdock to be a diuretic, diaphoretic, and a blood purifying agent.