Greater burdock is a biennial native in large parts of Europe, India, Western Asia and China. The plant is also cultivated, mainly for its roots used raw or cocked as a vegetable, but other parts are edible as well. The dried roots are also used in Western and Chinese herbal medicine where the plant is considered to be one of the foremost plants with detoxifying properties. Greater burdock is antibacterial and antifungal, the plant is for example supposed to be good for treating different types of skin diseases, burns and bruises. The plant can grow up to 200 cm high and is in flower between July to September. The species is a self-fertile hermaphrodite pollinated by insects such as bees and butterflies. The plants usually self-sow freely.
Sow the seeds in May in a broadcast tray, in tray substrate under light conditions, approximately 20-23 °C. Cover seeds to a depth of 1-2 cm. Germination can be erratic. When large enough to handle, transplant the plants into small individual pots in pot substrate. The pots can be placed in an unheated greenhouse, or outside when the risk of frost is over.
When fully rooted in the pots, plant outside in field, in semi-shade or sunny settings. Greater burdock succeeds in most well-drained soils but prefers a moist neutral to alkaline soil for partial shade and heavy soil for no shade.