This early variety is not only the one of the the best tasting varieties we've ever had for eating, but it matures much faster than all other cultivars. "Watanabe Early" has the same nice rich flavor as our "Takinogawa Long" Burdock with a slightly shorter and very tender smooth textured root. The large plants can grow up to 3' tall with giant dark green beautiful leaves. This variety is recommended for spring sowing for summer harvest and is best planted in March or April for July through August harvest. Burdock is commonly known as greater burdock, gobo, edible burdock, lappa, or beggar's buttons. Burdock is a highly nutritious root vegetable and one of the most valued herbal medicines. This heirloom vegetable is native to temperate Europe and Asia and is a very important and popular root vegetable in Japan and China. It is highly regarded as both nutritious and curative. Burdock grows very rapidly with giant rhubarb-type leaves. The flowers are fantastic for attracting a wide variety of beneficial insects like butterflies and honey bees to your garden.Burdock is also nutrient rich in vitamins and minerals, especially Iron, calcium, potassium and amino acids! The root is very crisp and has a sweet, mild flavor. It is a very versatile plant:The flowering stems are edible and taste a lot like asparagus or artichokes (which burdock is related to). The edible seeds can be sprouted. The tender young roots can be eaten like celery or can be peeled and used in salads. Older roots can be cooked like carrots in stir fries or in soups or they can be roasted or even pickled! The roots are not only a pleasant food, but they are a powerful medicinal as well! Burdock roots are a powerful blood purifier, a detoxicant, are used to treat skin disorders, and are traditionally used for kidney stones. This medicinal plant has also been used by the Ojibwa tribe, and today, in form of an ingredient in Essiac tea for the treatment of some cancers.
"Other plant parts are used to prevent baldness and to treat rheumatoid arthritis, skin infections, acne, boils, bites, eczema, herpes, impetigo, rashes, ringworm, sore throat, sciatica, poison ivy/oak and as a tonic, among other uses. The seeds of greater burdock are employed in traditional Chinese medicine particularly for skin conditions and in cold/flu formulas, under the name niubangz.Seeds contain arctigenin, which has shown nootropic effects in mice. Arctiin and its aglycone, arctigenin has shown potent in vitro antiviral activities against influenza A virus in mice. Arctigenin has demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity in vitro. The seeds have also shown anticancer activity in vitro." quoted from Wikipedia.com*.