Europe & Asia
Tall (up to 10 feet) biennial plant, large alternating leaves, purple flowers bloom from spiky clusters in late summer.
FOOD: Japanese and other Asian cuisines use burdock root in many ways. It has a crunchy, mildly sweet flavor similar to lotus root, and is put in stews, stir-fry, and pickled dishes.
VELCRO: The Swiss inventor of velcro was inspired by the tiny hooks on the flower spike of burdock. The dead flowers would latch onto his clothing and his dog as they hiked.