Greater Burdock, Gobō
Burdock is a root crop grown and cooked like carrots. Roots reach 1-2′ long, can be harvested in any season except summer. The crisp roots of Chiko Burdock have a pleasant, mild, bittersweet flavor, are a welcome addition to many stews and soups. Young roots can be eaten raw, older roots are boiled. Immature flower-stalks have an artichoke-like flavor, are peeled, eaten fresh, or sautéed in oil or butter. Burdock root is extremely nutritious, scientific research has shown burdock to have powerful anti-tumor properties. Plants are biennial, with large, wavy leaves, and in the summer of the second season, round heads of thiste-like 2″ purple flowers. Flower stalks can reach 6′ or more tall.
How to Plant Burdock Seeds
Sow seed into prepared seed beds 2″ apart, ¾-1″ deep in rows 18-36″ apart. Kept at 68°F., germination is in 14-21 days. Thin to 4″ apart.
Grow burdock: Full sun or part shade. Root production highest in sun. Culture similar to carrots. Burdock requires deep, loose, fine soil to perform its best. Harvest roots the first season, within 3-4 months of planting. Harvest immature flower stalks before plants bloom. Flowers are an important nectar and pollen source for honeybees. Burdock's flowers give way to clinging burrs. Burdock burrs served as inspiration for the invention velcro.