Search

[?]

Open the Advanced Search

Smooth Sow-thistle

Sonchus oleraceus

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.

Plant Data

Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Order:
Asterales
Family:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Annual Sunflower, Autumn Hawkbit, Beaked Hawksbeard, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Creeping Thistle, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Feverfew, Fox and Cubs, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Goat's Beard, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Hoary Ragwort, Lavender-cotton, Leopardsbane, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, Nipplewort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Sow-thistle, Pineapple Mayweed, Ploughman's Spikenard, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Rough Hawkbit, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shrub Ragwort, Silver Ragwort, Smooth Hawksbeard, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Sticky Groundsel, Tansy, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tyneside Leopardplant, Wall Lettuce, White Buttons, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Yarrow
Type:
Flower
Life Cycle:
Annual
Maximum Size:
2 metres tall
Habitats:
Farmland, gardens, mountains, roadsides, rocks, sand dunes, towns, walls, wasteland, waterside.

Flower:
֍
Yellow, many petals
 
Pale yellow dandelion-like flowers in clusters, up to 2.5cm wide.
Fruit:
A cylidrical, light brown, wrinkly achene (seed) with white fluffy pappas (hairs) at one end. The fruits are single-seeded.
Leaves:
The dark green leaves are deeply divided into triangular-shaped lobes and have irregularly toothed margins. They are less prickly-edged than Prickly Sow-thistle and more bluish-green in colour. The leaves are arranged alternately along the stems.
Aroma:
Sometimes faintly aromatic.
Other Names:
Annual Sow-thistle, Colewort, Common Milk Sow-thistle, Common Sow-thistle, Hare's Lettuce, Hare's Thistle, Milkweed, Milky Tassel, Soft Thistle, Swinies.
Frequency (UK):
Common  
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map