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Prickly Sow-thistle

Sonchus asper

Plant Data

Order:
Asterales
Family:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Type:
Flower
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC

Flower:
֍
Yellow, many petals
 
Large yellow dandelion-like flowers.
Fruit:
Smooth, ribbed achenes (seeds).
Leaves:
Leathery and stiff leaves with prickly margins. The upper leaves are shiny and clasp their stems. The basal lobes of the leaves are rounded. Sparsely haired. The leaves are up to 25cm (10 inches) long.
Maximum Size:
2 metres tall
Foraging Notes:
The young leaves are edible and nutritious. They can be eaten raw or cooked and added to soups and salads. The flowers and young roots can be eaten too. The stems can be cooked and eaten but are more palatable after peeling first. Rich in vitamin C.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Other Names:
Rough Milk Thistle, Rough Sow-thistle, Sharp-fringed Sow-thistle, Spiny Annual Sow-thistle, Spiny Sow-thistle, Spiny-leaved Sow-thistle.
Frequency (UK):
Common
Habitats:
Farmland, gardens, roadsides, rocks, towns, walls, wasteland, waterside.