This widely distributed plant known under several botanical names, such as Lappa minor (De Candolle) Lappa major (Gaertner) and Lappa tomentosa (Lamarck) is now official as Arctium Lappa. The commercial name Burdock seems, however, so expressive as to have become an universal appellation, and needs no interpretation.
The root of this plant has been ever used in its native haunts, which cover much of Africa, Europe, and adjacent lands. Like the honeybee it follows civilization, and like the English sparrow craves the company of man. Its burr journeys with man into all inhabited countries, and whether or not it be a welcome guest, its broad leaves are to be found about every dwelling. As already stated, Burdock has been used in domestic medicine from time out of date. Several varieties, however, have inherited the common name, such works as Salmon, 1683 (570a) Samuel Dale, 1737 (179) Quincy, 1749 (532) Lewis, 1768 (382) Motherby, 1775 (451b) testifying thereto. In all these it is titled Bardana.