|Common (too common) or greater burdock. Arctium lappa.|
This plant is growing by the lane to the beach in Crescent Beach, reaching out to passers-by. The hooked head contains the seeds for the next generation. It can grow up to 9 feet high, and in a fertile garden will take over the entire area, where it will stay in spite of all your efforts to eradicate it.
Take a look at those hooks!
|Tough, sharp, and extremely persistent.|
It has its uses; the root is edible, and goes by the name of gobo. Like its relative, the cardoon, it has purple, thistle-like flowers; the young stems taste like artichoke.
And what would modern life be without Velcro?
After taking his dog for a walk one day in the early 1940s, George de Mestral, a Swiss inventor, became curious about the seeds of the burdock plant that had attached themselves to his clothes and to the dog's fur. Under a microscope, he looked closely at the hook system that the seeds use to hitchhike on passing animals aiding seed dispersal, and he realised that the same approach could be used to join other things together. The result of his studies was Velcro. (Wikipedia)
But don't give it that ride!