1. Arctium lappa Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 816. 1753.
牛蒡 niu bang
Arctium leiospermum Juzepczuk & Ye. V. Sergievskaja; A. majus Bernhardi, nom. illeg. superfl.; Lappa major Gaertner, nom. illeg. superfl.; L. vulgaris Hill.
Herbs to 2 m tall, biennial. Stem purplish, erect, stout, apically branched, sparsely cobwebby; branches ascending. Leaves abaxially grayish white or pale green and thinly felted, adaxially green, sparsely strigose, and yellow gland-dotted. Basal leaves with petiole ca. 32 cm; leaf blade broadly heart-shaped, ca. 30 × 21 cm, margin entire and repand to mucronulate denticulate. Cauline leaves similar to basal leaves or ovate; uppermost cauline leaves ovate to shallowly cordate, smaller. Capitula few to many, ± corymbose. Involucre ovoid, 1.5-2 cm in diam., glabrous except for minute glandular hairs. Phyllaries all with a hooked apex; outer phyllaries triangular to lanceolate-subulate, ca. 15 × 1 mm; middle and inner phyllaries lanceolate to linear-subulate, ca. 15 × 1.5-3 mm. Corolla purplish red, ca. 1.4 cm, tube ca. 8 mm. Achene pale brown variegated with dark brown or concolorous, narrowly sometimes obliquely obovoid, 5-7 mm, multistriate. Pappus bristles to 3.5 mm. Fl. and fr. Jun-Sep. 2n = 18, 34, 36.
Near villages, roadsides, near rivers, wet and waste places, forest margins, thickets, valleys, slopes; 700-3500 m. Throughout China except for Hainan, Taiwan, and Xizang [Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan; SW Asia, Europe].
Arctium lappa is cultivated almost throughout China. The achenes and roots are used medicinally.