A good butterfly plant. Wildflower, a colonizer of fertile, disturbed sites near the edge of woodlands or within woodland clearings but is intolerant of deep shade and can also be found in hedgerows, roadsides and waste ground.
Lesser burdock takes two to four years to reach maturity. The shade cast by its large rhubarb like leaves suppresses the growth of neighbouring plants.
Burdock is one of the foremost detoxifying herbs in both Chinese and Western herbal medicine.
Sow at any time of the year. Germination can take a long time so a light scarification might be useful. Best sown in situ in autumn.
Succeeds on most soils, preferably moist. Prefers a sunny position. (Prefers partial shade according to another report).
Root - raw or cooked. The best roots are obtained from young plants. Usually peeled and sliced. The roasted root is a coffee substitute.
Young leaves and leaf stems - raw or cooked. Used as a potherb. Mucilaginous. It is best to remove the rind from the stem. Young flowering stem - peeled and eaten raw or cooked like asparagus.