Summary of Invasiveness Top of page. The seed parachutes are breaking off. Flowers Slightly older sow thistle. Upper leaves clasp the stem with triangular, leaves with pointed basal lobes. The edges of the leaves are covered with very small fragile "spikes". Smooth and hairless on the lower part but glandular-hairy towards the top and on branches. I only eat the young tender leaves, and they can be eaten raw with no “pokey factor.” Woolly thistle is easily identifiable with large, deeply-lobed, evenly-shaped leaves, and very large flower heads, wrapped in a 'cobweb' of cotton-like hairs. The leaves are hairless somewhat bluish green. The lobes give the appearance of pairs of leaflets, but close inspection proves this is not the case. Common sowthistle (S. oleraceus) (left) and spiny sowthistle (S. asper) (right) When they emerge The floral bracts at the base of the flower head are dull green, hairless and overlap each other in a vertical series. top. Sonchus oleraceus, with many common names including common sowthistle, sow thistle, smooth sow thistle, annual sow thistle, hare's colwort, hare's thistle, milky tassel, milk thistle, soft thistle, or swinies, is a plant in the dandelion tribe within the daisy family.It is native to Europe and western Asia.. Its specific epithet oleraceus means "vegetable/herbal". Leaves are thin and soft, measuring up to 36 cm long and 12 cm wide. The flowers are similar in appearance and colour to Dandelions. Leaf color varies from light to dark green. Human Health Issues. You can use sow thistle leaves just as you would use dandelion leaves. Cut stems secrete a milky sap. Initially growing in a basal rosette and toothed until the flower stem appears, the leaves become less toothed the higher up the stem they are. It is extremely rich in calcium and Vitamins A and C. In mediterranean cultures, sow … Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. Similar Species. Plant is pounded and applied as a poultice to wounds and boils. Smooth sow thistle will hybridize with prickly sow thistle (S. asper) to produce S. asper x glaucescens, a plant similar to smooth sow thistle but with slightly prickly leaves. Sonchus asper, the prickly sow-thistle, rough milk thistle, spiny ... Sonchus asper is an annual or biennial herb sometimes reaching a height of 200 cm. (The leaf base is clasping the stem) Flower bud infested with aphids. The species grows in a wide range of habitats and climates, and produces large numbers of seeds (>20,000 seeds), which are easily … The terminal leaf lobes are much larger than the lateral lobes. The stem of Sonchus oleraceus. The wind blows seeds everywhere. Sow thistles have been used as fodder, particularly for rabbits, hence the other common names of "hare thistle" or "hare lettuce".They are also edible to humans as a leaf vegetable; old leaves and stalks can be bitter but young leaves have a flavour similar to lettuce.Going by the name puha or rareke (raraki) it is frequently eaten in New Zealand as a vegetable, particularly by the native Māori. top. It is not frost tender. Sow thistle has flowers and leaves that are similar to a dandelion but it can grow a lot larger, up to 1.5 metres tall. Adapted to a wide range of conditions, perennial sow thistle does best in moist, fertile soils with full sunlight. Lower leaves are usually about 4 to 8 inches (10–20 cm) long, with a tapered or winged base, and are deeply lobed. Latex in the plant has been used as a treatment on warts. Opium addiction: Sow thistle can help with those trying to break a dependence on opium. Corn Sow-thistle, Creeping Sow Thistle, Dindle, Field Milk Thistle, Field Sow Thistle, Gutweed, Milk Thistle, Sonchus uliginosus, Tree Sow-thistle. It’s a member of the Asteraceae family […] Its roots, stem, leaves, juice, latex or whole plant has also been used to treat a vast variety of conditions, ailments and diseases. Perennial broadleaf plant. Sow thistle flowers. The leaves of spiny sowthistle have. Young sow thistle plant. Common sow thistle seed puff. Leaves deeply pinnately lobed, but can be very similar to S asper. Sow thistles are an erect, herbaceous, taprooted annual that can grow to over 1m in height if the plant is damaged or cut it exudes a milky latex. Auricles of stem-leaves pointed. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, flies. It may be a sow thistle. Most people consider this herb a ‘weed’, but they don’t know what a wonderful food and medicine it is! Prickly Sow-thistle. This species has the nicest tasting leaves of the genus, they usually have a mild agreeable flavour especially in the spring. Examine the leaves of the plant: perennial sow thistle leaves are alternate and have toothed margins, while annual sow thistle leaves fully clasp the main stem, with either rounded or flat spiny lobes. Dandelion leaves are only at the base. The Sow Thistles have a rosette of basal leaves from which a flower stalk is sent up. Common sow-thistle is native to Europe and introduced worldwide, including across North America. Sonchus asper, or Prickly Sowthistle, is a spring or summer annual herbaceous wildflower, with spiney leaves and yellow flowers and is often considered a weed because of its aggressive spread. Closeup of leaves wrapped around stem. It is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen from July to September. Perennial sow-thistle is not a known allergen. Jean November 3, 2016 at 12:46 pm. Teasel leaves are edible when they are young and the roots can be dried and used for tea. The roots of sow thistle are finer than those of dandelion, which means that they are easier to peel. Stems are upright and leafy at the base. Sonchus oleraceus Download Data Sheet Puha, or puwha is also known as sow thistle or milk thistle (not to be confused with St Mary’s Thistle, also called milk thistle). Flowering generally takes place in the spring and summer. Identification difficulty. Flowerheads pale yellow 20 to 25 mm, borne in lax clusters. There are several species of Sonchus in the British Isles, however, Sonchus oleraceus is the most common. Mature leaves. Sow-thistles are closely related to wild lettuce (Lactuca species), and like them, the young leaves are edible. Leaves are alternate and waxy, with prickled edges and variable shape. Edible parts of Sow Thistle: Young leaves - raw or cooked. It prefers highly disturbed areas, and is a weed of many crops. Photo courtesy of Wildcat Sow thistle flowers (never opened, opened, and gone to seed). Sonchus asper is an annual herb considered native to Europe, Africa and Asia that has been introduced to a wide range of countries around the world, where it frequently becomes an environmental and agricultural weed. ... Basal rosette of alternate leaves. The plant's rosette Rosette's leaf. Achenes transversely rugose. Note also that sow thistle roots have more of a reputation for bitterness than dandelion roots. Sow thistle has quite a succulent stem when it flowers, and the foliage oozes a milky sap when cut. Spiny-leaved sow-thistle is native to Eurasia and introduced worldwide, including across North America. The seeds of spiny sowthistle are broader and are less wrinkled. Spiny-leaved Sow-thistle; Phonetic Spelling SON-chus AS-per Description. Cant wait to try this Katrina! Also, rabbits seem to like to eat them, hence they are also called hare thistle. Species Benefits "The young leaves can be added to salads or boiled for 10-15 minutes and eaten." Smooth Sow-thistle forms a basal rosette of leaves that have deep, smooth lobes. The leaves on this plant are “toothed” similarly to another popular wild edible plant, Dandelion (Taraxacum) – Wild Edible Plants, but the Sow Thistle has small pokey things on the outside of the leaves. Cancer: Sow thistle is believed to have powerful cancer-fighting activity. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Flowers are yellow in color, upto 7 mm in diameter. SOW-THISTLE, COMMON---Synonyms---Hare's Thistle.Hare's Lettuce. Facts. top. Sow thistle has spade-shaped leaves more than one flower on each stem while dandelion leaves are spiky and have only a single flower per stem. Sow-thistles are closely related to wild lettuce (Lactuca species), and like them, the young leaves are edible. The upper leaves are smaller than the lower leaves, stalkless, and clasp the stems with clawlike basal lobes. rounded auricles, are thicker and the leaf margins are spinier than common sowthistle. Sow thistle usually has many flowers sprouting out on each stalk. Notice leaves are amplexicaul. Perennial sow-thistle is not know to be toxic. how do you know a prickly plant is actually a thistle? Traditional uses and benefits of Prickly sow thistle. Looks like a true thistle, but the leaves are much softer. Delicate and rather Dandelion like with a white sap when cut. Sow thistle is eaten throughout history. Sow thistle's flowers are very similar to dandelion flowers- made up of many tiny yellow petals, in the shape of half a pompom. Reaching a height of 60-150 cm. They can be added to salads, cooked like spinach or used in soups etc. Common sow thistle seed puff beginning to break apart. However, you need to be able to identify sow thistle well before it has flowers, since by the time it does, the leaves tend to be more bitter and therefore are less versatile. Plant parts contain a milky sap. Sonchus oleraceus is a BIENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in). Sow thistle. The leaves of prickly sow thistle have spines on them and are best trimmed before consumption. Dandelion only has one flower per stalk (see photos on the dandelion page). Use sow thistle to make a salad more flavorful or stir fry it to make its leaves and stems more tender. Forage Quality. On the sow thistle, leaves are seen going all the way up the stalk, as well as at the base of the plant. The plant throws up a flower stalk between June and August. Leaves have irregularly toothed margins with prickles at the end; Stems: Stems are erect. Leaves . Root Type: Rhizomes that spread by extensive horizontal roots Flower Color: Composite flowers yellow to yellow-orange. Good luck! with spiny leaves and yellow flowers resembling those of the dandelion. Sharon Porter November 3, 2016 at 5:43 pm. It does not invade pastures because it is eaten by livestock. No information exists at this time. The perennial sow-thistle is … can be distinguished by its leaves and seeds. Common uses. ID guidance. ---Parts Used---Leaves, stems, milky juice.The Sow-Thistle is a well-known weed in every field and garden. Marsh thistle looks somewhat like spear thistle at an initial glance, but without the large spines and leaf lobes, and usually with a thin, red, leaf margin. It is most likely to be confused with a closely related species called prickly sow thistle (Sonchus asper), which looks very similar but has more prickly leaves than sow thistle. It looks like thistle, but is not, because its leaves are not hard at all. 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