Burdock is a spit for rhubarb,
Giant leaf and fleshy stalk,
As if a kitchen garden has been on a woodland walk.
It’s not a sorrel, (nor a laurel),
’Spite of what it’s name may say –
Its lineage ain’t sitting with the dock nor the bay.
It’s true it grows from burrs,
But its barbs all grow up rhubarb-y,
Decked out in another’s species’ garb, apparently.
At least until it bolts,
When its thistleheads are in the hedge –
Unlike the cauliflowers of its doppleganger veg.
And then there’s the invader,
The mutant, spiky, giant kind
Whose leaves atop are rhubarb but beneath are sharply-spined.
They aren’t at all related,
These three have never shared a bed,
It’s just the way plants get when they get big and broad and red.