BURDOCK, GOBO (Arctium lappa)
Other names: Niu-bang
100 Organically Certified Seeds / package
Open-Pollinated / Untreated / GMO Free
Burdock is a versatile player in the kitchen: its sweet, subtle flavor and meaty firm consistency lend themselves well to cooking, pickling, and grating raw. Combined with Dandelion, a trustworthy blood cleanser for treatment of many ills, including staph.
APPEARANCE: Big, soft basal leaves mark the first year. Leaves are bright green on top, lighter in color on the underside, and are covered in velvety fuzz. The basal rosette of leaves can grow to about 18 inches across. Second-year plants send up large leafy flowering stalks. The thistle-ish flowers are a magenta puff of disc florets surrounded by spiky green bracts. These hooked bracts are what turn into the brown clinging burred seedpods, which host a few hundred seeds each. Burdock roots grow deep, averaging depths of around 2 feet; brown outer flesh, which can hold a lot of dirt, covers the dense creamy white interior.
GROWING INFORMATION: Biennial, overwintering in Zones 3 to 9, otherwise grown as a spring-planted annual, requiring 50 days to harvest. Plant thrives in deeply spaded garden soil in the sun to part shade. Sow the seeds 1/2 inch deep and about 3 inches apart, tamp firmly and keep evenly moist until germination, which takes about a week. Thin to 6 apart. Dig in the first year.
CAUTION: Steer clear if you have a known allergy to the sunflower family (Asteraceae) plants. An allergy may show as itchiness or stomach irritation.