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Xanthium strumarium var. canadense (Canada cocklebur)
Stone, Robert L.

Xanthium strumarium var. canadense

Xanthium strumarium L. var. canadense (Mill.) Torr. & A. Gray

Canada Cocklebur

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Xanthium acerosum, Xanthium californicum, Xanthium californicum var. rotundifolium, Xanthium campestre, Xanthium canadense, Xanthium cavanillesii, Xanthium cenchroides, Xanthium commune, Xanthium echinatum, Xanthium glanduliferum, Xanthium italicum, Xanthium macounii, Xanthium oligacanthum, Xanthium oviforme, Xanthium pensylvanicum, Xanthium saccharatum, Xanthium speciosum, Xanthium strumarium ssp. italicum, Xanthium strumarium var. oviforme, Xanthium strumarium var. pensylvanicum, Xanthium varians


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), HI (I), CAN (N)

A cocklebur was the inspiration for a Swiss engineer, George deMastral, in 1948, for the invention of Velcro. He examined the burs that stuck to his socks and discovered that they consisted of hundreds of tiny hooks, which attached themselves to anything loopy.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , HI , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: NB , NS , PE


Use Wildlife: Cocklebur seeds are the most frequently recorded food of the extinct Carolina Parakeet, the only parrot native to eastern North America, extinct in the early 20th century.
Attracts: Birds

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-633 Collected 2007-12-09 in Blanco County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Xanthium strumarium var. canadense in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Xanthium strumarium var. canadense in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Xanthium strumarium var. canadense


Record Modified: 2023-01-30
Research By: TWC Staff

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