Common cocklebur Xanthium strumarium L.
Family: Asteraceae (Composite family)
Life cycle: Annual
Native status: Native
Habitat: Crop fields, flood plains, disturbed areas
General description: Erect plant reaching heights of 6 to 7 ft. Stems are rough with dark spots. Leaves are rough, triangular in shape with wavy or toothed margins and long petioles. Inconspicuous flowers produce egg-shaped burs with two beaks at end. Seedling has long, fleshy cotyledons.
Key ID traits: Rough stems with dark spots, triangular leaves with irregular margins.
Similar species: Sunflower seedlings may resemble those of cocklebur, but sunflower has small, ovate cotyledons.
Miscellaneous: Each bur contains two seeds, one possessing a deeper dormancy than the other. Seedlings are highly toxic, but toxicity relatively quickly.