Weed of the Month: Cocklebur

  • Common name: Common cocklebur
  • Scientific name: Xanthium strumarium1
  • Life cycle: Summer annual1
  • Seedlings: Stem is purple in color with large cotyledons.
  • Leaf arrangement: Early leaves are arranged in an opposite pattern; mature leaves are arranged in an alternate pattern.

Fast facts

  • Common cocklebur can grow between 2 to 4 feet tall.2
  • Common cocklebur can be found in agricultural fields, on roadsides, in ditches, in pastures, in orchards and in unmanaged places.2
  • Each bur contains two seeds — with one larger than the other.1
  • Cocklebur seeds and seedlings can be fatal to livestock if the animal ingests 1% or more of its body weight.2
  • Mature plants have thick stems with purple or black spots.2
  • The leaves of the mature plant have a distinct scent.2
  • Male flowers are red and form in clusters with female flowers below on the stalk. Cocklebur flowers during the months of July to October.2
  • The cocklebur seeds are brown, egg-shaped and prickly.1

Resistance statistics*

  • According to WeedScience.org, herbicide-resistant common cocklebur has been discovered in 15 states:* Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee.

*Resistance confirmation does not include all weeds and may vary among different areas of each state.

Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, offers the following weed control solutions:

Corn Herbicides

DuPont Cinch® ATZ herbicide
DuPont Realm® Q herbicide
Durango® DMA® herbicide
Elevore® herbicide
Enlist Duo® herbicide, as part of the Enlist weed control system
Enlist One® herbicide, as part of the Enlist weed control system
FulTime® NXT herbicide
Keystone® LA NXT herbicide
Keystone® NXT herbicide
Resicore® herbicide
SureStart® II herbicide

Soybean Herbicides
Durango® DMA® herbicide
DuPont EverpreX® herbicide
Elevore herbicide
Enlist Duo® herbicide, as part of the Enlist weed control system
Enlist One® herbicide, as part of the Enlist weed control system
FirstRate® herbicide
Sonic® herbicide
Surveil® herbicide
DuPontAfforia® herbicide
DuPontEnlite® herbicide
DuPont™ FeXapan™ herbicide Plus VaporGrip® Technology
DuPont Trivence® herbicide


Sources:

1University of Illinois Extension and Outreach, Department of Crop Sciences. 2019. Common Cocklebur. http://extension.cropsciences.illinois.edu/fieldcrops/weeds/common_cocklebur/
2University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, Statewide Integrated Pest Management. 2019. Common Cocklebur. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/WEEDS/common_cocklebur.html

Additional Resource:

University of Missouri Division of Plant Sciences, Weed ID Guide. 2018. Common Cocklebur: Xanthium strumarium.https://weedid.missouri.edu/weedinfo.cfm?weed_id=314

Corteva Agriscience, the Corteva Agriscience Logo, Afforia, Cinch, DMA, DuPont, Durango, Elevore, Enlist, Enlist Duo, Enlist One, Enlite, EverpreX, FeXapan, FirstRate, FulTime, Keystone, Realm, Resicore, Sonic, SureStart, Surveil and Trivence are trademarks of Dow AgroSciences, DuPont or Pioneer, and their affiliated companies or their respective owners. VaporGrip® is a registered trademark of the Bayer Group. Cinch ATZ, FeXapan, FulTime NXT, Keystone LA NXT and Keystone NXT are Restricted Use Pesticides. Durango DMA, Elevore, FeXapan, FulTime NXT, Keystone LA NXT, Resicore, Sonic, SureStart II and Surveil are not registered for sale or use in all states. Keystone NXT is not available for sale, distribution or use in all states. FulTime NXT, Keystone LA NXT, Keystone NXT, Resicore and SureStart II are not available for sale, distribution or use in Nassau and Suffolk counties in the state of New York. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. EverpreX is not registered in all states. See your DuPont retailer or representative for availability in your state. Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides are not registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your area. Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides are the only 2,4-D products authorized for use in Enlist crops. Consult Enlist herbicide labels for weed species controlled. Always read and follow label directions. ©2019 Dow AgroSciences LLC