Sow Thistle
Spiny Leaf Sow Thistle - Prickly Sow Thistle
Sonchus asper
Asteraceae (Sunflower) Family

Common Sow Thistle is a winter anual, usually presenting its flower in November. The plant is adorned with a rosette of prickly margined, usually entire leaves. The stems are fleshy with a milky juice, single or in clumps, about 2 feet tall.

The leaves are entire to pinnatifid, clasping, obovate to oblanceolate (very variable). Lobes of the blades are rounded at the base and the margins are spinose.

The flowers are in clusters of a few glandular heads, about 1/2 inch long, composed of all ray flowers that are yellow in color.

Fruit is ribbed achene but not finely wrinkled, with a dense white pappus of capillary bristles.

In most areas Sow Thistle is a common weed usually found in disturbed soils (abundant in grounds known to be well suited for cotton and sugarcane).

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