(redirected from cockleburr)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.


cocklebur or clotbur, any species of the genus Xanthium, widely distributed, coarse annual plants of the family Asteraceae (aster family). They are often persistent weeds; the two-seeded oval burrs are particularly troublesome to sheep growers and the very young plants are poisonous to livestock. Cockleburs are often confused with burdock. Cockleburs are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



plant of the genus Xanthium; annual grasses of the Compositae family. The flowers are tubular and unisexual and are formed in unisexual calathide heads. The staminal calathides are multiflorous, round, and apical; the pistil calathides each have two blossoms; both develop on a single plant. Estimates of the number of species range from just a few to 25, and they are found all over the world. There are seven species in the USSR. The most widely found is burweed (X. strumarium), which grows as a weed on vacant land, on cultivated land, and in gardens, along roads, and near houses. Thorny cocklebur (X. spinosum), which has long two- or three-segment spikes at the base of its leaves, is found in the southern regions of the USSR (in refuse areas, along roads, and in pastures).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Chocolate and Cockleburrs were found grazing in Davis Gulch; remnants of a campsite were uncovered farther down the canyon.
Most frustrating for a Spinone and its owner is pulling out cockleburrs and other sticky vegetation after a day in the field.