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These plants are growing all around my new house. I am wondering if this burr infested plant is anything that is worth keeping or if it is just a weed that sticks itself to everything (including my cat)

What is the best way to go about removing this nuisance (all 20/30 of them) if it is a weed?

(The location is in eastern Iowa.)

  • 2
    With identification questions, it's useful to describe where in the world you found the plant, and the conditions where you found it (sun, shade, rocky hillside, forested riverbank, and so on). If you have more information about the plant, please update your question to add it. Thanks.
    – Niall C.
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


If you mean burr in the usual "comes off the plant and sticks to clothing/animal fur" sense, that charming behavior tends to class them as weeds in the minds of anyone who isn't of the "but there's no such thing as a weed" camp. They don't look exactly like the tiny green (later brown) burrs (latin name unknown by me) that plague my yard and animals and socks, but they are similar in aspect. Remove and burn or remove and place in trash, digging out as much root as possible and trying to not lose too many of the burrs, which will add to the seeds that are probably already in your soil to make the next several years annoying. Also try to learn what they look like when smaller (before they fruit) so you can pull them out earlier next year.

Not burdock - that's pretty easy to spot/identify (and eventually easy to spot even the year before it flowers, since it's biennial.)

Might be Hackelia virginiana, aka beggarslice or stickseed. Also a biennial.





  • 1
    Looks like it was Hackelia virginiana.
    – Paul
    Commented Sep 3, 2014 at 13:09
  • Because of Paul's comment, can you now edit your answer to specify?
    – J. Musser
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 2:58

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