burdock

Botanic Superlatives: The Most Imitated Plant

March 18, 2011
Submitted by admin

What do NASA astronauts, new parents, and NBA phenoms have in common? They all owe a debt of gratitude to burdock (Arctium), whose hook-tipped burrs inspired the invention of Velcro®. Hailed as the revolutionary "zipperless zipper," the hook-and-loop fastener has been used to adhere artificial hearts, diving gear, and diapers. And it emulates a design that was refined and perfected by a certain thistle: burdock.