E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Arctium lappa L.
great burdock (greater burdock)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Larry Halverson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #71236)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Arctium lappa
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Species Information

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Large, coarse, biennial herb; stems erect, leafy, 0.5-3.0 m tall.
Basal leaves large, up to 50 cm long and 30 cm wide, egg- to heart-shaped, stalked (the lower stalks solid), green and nearly glabrous above, thinly white-woolly beneath; stem leaves similar, alternate, progressively reduced upwards.
Heads numerous in a relatively scattered inflorescence; involucres globose, burlike, 2.5-3.5 cm wide, long-stalked; involucral bracts in several series, long, narrow, flattened at the base, spreading with inwardly hooked tips; ray flowers lacking; disk flowers purple, tubular.
Achenes glabrous, oblong, 3-angled, several-ribbed; pappus of numerous short bristles.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry roadsides, disturbed areas and pastures in the lowland zone; rare in S BC; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Arctium lappa

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 205 636 1225
Slope Gradient (%) 0 3 25
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
52 238 300
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 5 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(4), ICH(6), IDF(8), MS(2), PP(4)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Lappa major Gaertn.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References