Identifying backyard plant/weed

(Question)

Good day! We recently moved to a new house and have quite the jungle growing in the backyard. Wondering if you are able to identify this plant so we can learn about it. Not sure if it is a “weed” or something rhubarb like? It is growing quite and “taking over” a little:) Thanks for any input! Ps I have a few pictures from different angles if that would help further. -Michael

 

(Answer)

 

From your photo, your plant appears to be Arctium minus, or Common Burdock, which is considered an invasive species in Ontario.  It is native to Eurasia but has been naturalized in North America for many years.   It is also known as Wild Rhubarb for obvious reasons: the heart-shaped, wavy-edged leaves are very similar.  The Common Burdock has medicinal uses but is not edible (although there are other varieties of burdock that are – Arctium lappa for instance.)  Here are some links to photographs that will help to confirm this identification:  http://ontariowildflowers.com/main/species.php?id=165 ; http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/ontweeds/common_burdock.htm

We would recommend removing common burdock by digging it out – any remaining roots are more likely than other invasive species to die if they are not nourished by leaves.  It is a biennial, which means that in its first year it produces what is known as a “rosette” of leaves – you’ll see pictures in the links above – which will help you to identify young specimens and remove them.