The book of the mimicry of the living

The 5 Great Biomimicry Applications Series – Plants 2: Burdock


You guys had things pretty under control yesterday. Todays is at about the same level, but  to let more people have a stab at it I’m going to not publish any of your comment until this evening. I’ll still receive them, but THEY WILL NOT BE VISABLE UNTIL THE COMPETITION ENDS!

Same drill as last time, read my clue, have a think about what biomimicry product this organism could have inspired and put your ideas in the comment section. Stay tuned, it’s gonna get tougher soon…

Inspiring Plant 2 – Burdock burrs

This is the OTHER thing that goes into Dandelion and Burdock. What, you DON’T know D’n’B? It’s a “traditional British soft drink”

Despite the suspect popularity of the derivative soft drink, Burdock is a common plant across Europe. It’s biomimicry application though is more about form than taste. These small plants are keen colonisers, with the seeds often travelling miles from the parent plant.

Leave your suggestions for biomimetic applications of this pretty little plant in the comments section, or tweet them @Biomimicron

Inspired Product 2 – Velcro

George de Mestral was a curious Swiss engineer and a keen hunter and while out romping the fields with his beloved pooch in 1941  he became irritated at the seed pods and took a few to look at under his microscope. He realised the seed pods were covered in minute hooks which were so fiddly to remove from his dog’s fluffy coat.

He took this discovery and applied it to a paired set of materials. A strip of ‘velours’ (loop in his native French) and ‘crochet’ (hooks) gave rise to the well known fastening system now referred to with the compound brand name ‘Velcro’. Fascinating, right?

Everyone guessed right today. New biomimiquiz tomorrow!


Author: davergp

Environmental Geoscience BSc. Environmental Design of Buildings MSc. Bonsai Hobbyist, Woodland Enthusiast, Environ-mentalist.

5 thoughts on “The 5 Great Biomimicry Applications Series – Plants 2: Burdock

  1. Velcro, also known as: hook-and-loop fasteners. =D

  2. this one has to be Velcro. Probably. Possibly?

  3. Pingback: The 5 Great Biomimicry Applications Series – Plants 3: Tumbleweeds | The Biomimicron

  4. Pingback: The 5 Great Biomimicry Applications Series – Plants 5: Maple Seeds | The Biomimicron

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