Definition of cocklebur in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkäkəlˌbər/ /ˈkɑkəlˌbər/


  • A herbaceous plant of the daisy family, with broad leaves and burred fruits. It originated in tropical America but is now cosmopolitan.

    Genus Xanthium, family Compositae: two or three species, in particular X. strumarium

    ‘Both cocklebur and magnolia blossoms must either be harvested and dried for future use or they may be purchased from Chinese pharmacies.’
    See also clotbur
    • ‘It is a native insect which feeds on wild hosts including cocklebur, sunflowers, and common and giant ragweed, as well as soybeans.’
    • ‘I spent whole summers with a group of guys, chopping cockleburs and button weeds in the cornfields and talking the way teenage boys talk when they're off by themselves.’
    • ‘The sting nematode has a wide host range that includes corn, soybean, and numerous weeds, such as morning glory, crabgrass, and cocklebur.’
    • ‘In addition to corn it may feed on weeds, including cocklebur.’


Mid 19th century from cockle+ burr.