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.

    See also clotbur

    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.’
    • ‘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.