Hitchhiker Seeds - Common Burdock
Burdock, also known as lesser burdock, wild rhubarb, clothbur, beggar's buttons or gypsy's rhubarb, is any of a group of biennial thistles in the genus Arctium, family Asteraceae. Native to the Old World, several species have been widely introduced worldwide. The prickly heads of these plants (burrs) are noted for easily catching on to fur and clothing, thus providing an excellent mechanism for seed dispersal.
After taking his dog for a walk one day in the early 1940s, George de Mestral, a Swiss inventor, became curious about the seeds of the burdock plant that had attached themselves to his clothes and to the dog's fur. Under a microscope, he looked closely at the hook-and-loop system that the seeds use to hitchhike on passing animals aiding seed dispersal, and he realized that the same approach could be used to join other things together. The result was Velcro.