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Photo Credit:  Daniel Laubahnn

Common Name: Woolly Burdock

Scientific Name: Arctium tomentosum

Habitat: disturbed areas, roadsides, farmland, forests - open areas, wet and dry grassland

Provincial Designation: Noxious

Noxious weeds are plant species that are designated as "noxious weeds" in the Alberta weed regulation. Noxious weeds must be controlled, meaning their growth or spread needs to be prevented. 


This plant was first introduced to North America from Europe. It is believed that woolly burdock was spread by large mammals after the Ice Age.

Legislated Because

The seed pods of woolly burdock have large hooks that can attach themselves to clothing and fur and be easily transported to new habitats. The plant thrives in a wide variety of conditions and can out-compete many native species.


The pink or purple flower heads are up to 2.5 cm wide and have unique cobwebby bracts.

Its leaves are heart-shaped, green on the top side, white on the underside, and are alternately arranged along the stem.

Its stems are thick and hollow and can grow up to 3 m tall.

Learn more about this species:

See Fact Sheets - Alberta Invasive Species Council

For More Information

Weed Identification


In Edmonton: 311

Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311


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