I thought these things were a minor annoyance when I was a kid. I'd be playing in the fields where we had a farm, and I'd come home covered up with these buggers. It just seemed like big fun then.

Now, however; I do not find them amusing. I have a fenced in back yard where about 1/3 of it is a real yard and the other 2/3 is more like woods. I also have a Lhasa Apso dog who stays fairly trimmed up in the summer, but her tail, ears and face still have a lot of hair on them. I guess I spent two hours yesterday trying to get these damn cockleburs out of her hair. I mean, they are like some alien life form that you can't remove. The more you try, the more entangled they become.

After that, I decided I'd solve the problem and go find the plants and pull them up. Well, I now have a stack of cocklebur plants outside my fence that is as high as the fence. And I'm covered with the little bastards. I've got to use a fine toothed grooming brush for the dog to get them off my legs and arms.

I am now on my way out the door to burn this pile of weeds, just out of anger and spite.

They are weird looking plants: They appear to be dead and lie close to the ground to hide themselves. What an efficient seed delivery system, eh?

And, by the way, in that node discussing velcro, this offensive weed was George de Mestral's inspiration.

Coc"kle*bur` (?), n. Bot.

A coarse, composite weed, having a rough or prickly fruit; one of several species of the genus Xanthium; -- called also clotbur.

 

© Webster 1913.

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