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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)
Type:
Flower
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