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Sonchus asper

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sonchus asper
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Sonchus
S. asper
Binomial name
Sonchus asper
(L.) Hill 1769
  • Sonchus oleraceus var. asper L. 1753
  • Sonchus aemulus Merino
  • Sonchus australis Hort. ex Colla
  • Sonchus borderi Gand.
  • Sonchus carolinianus Walter
  • Sonchus crocifolius Hort. ex Sch.Bip.
  • Sonchus cuspidatus Blume
  • Sonchus decipiens (De Not.) Zenari
  • Sonchus eryngiifolius Sosn.
  • Sonchus eryngioides DC.
  • Sonchus fallax Wallr.
  • Sonchus ferox Wall.
  • Sonchus glaber Thunb.
  • Sonchus infestus Poepp. ex DC.
  • Sonchus oleraceus Wall. 1831 not L. 1753
  • Sonchus spinosus Lam.
  • Sonchus spinulosus Bigel.
  • Sonchus sulphureus Boiss.
  • Sonchus tibesticus Quézel
  • Sonchus umbellatus E.Mey. ex DC.
  • Sonchus viridis Zenari
  • Sonchus eryngiifolius Sosn. ex Grossh.
  • Sonchus giganteus Shuttlew. ex Rouy
  • Sonchus glaucescens Jord.
  • Sonchus graecus Reut. ex E.Weiss
  • Sonchus kralikii Rouy
  • Sonchus nymanii Tineo & Guss.

Sonchus asper, the prickly sow-thistle,[2] rough milk thistle,[3] spiny sowthistle,[4] sharp-fringed sow thistle, or spiny-leaved sow thistle, is a widespread flowering plant in the tribe Cichorieae within the family Asteraceae.



Sonchus asper is an annual or biennial herb sometimes reaching a height of 200 centimetres (6.6 ft) with spiny leaves and yellow flowers resembling those of the dandelion. The leaves are bluish-green, simple, lanceolate, with wavy and sometimes lobed margins, covered in spines on both the margins and beneath. The base of the leaf surrounds the stem. The leaves and stems emit a milky sap when cut. One plant will produce several flat-topped arrays of flower heads, each head containing numerous yellow ray flowers but no disc flowers.[5][6]



Sonchus asper is native to Europe, North Africa, and western Asia. It has also become naturalized on other continents and is regarded as a noxious, invasive weed in many places. Its edible leaves make a palatable and nutritious leaf vegetable.[7][8][9][10][11]

It is found in cultivated soil, pastures, roadsides, edges of yards, vacant lots, construction sites, waste areas and in grasslands.[12]


  1. ^ The Plant List, Sonchus asper (L.) Hill
  2. ^ BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  3. ^ USDA GRIN Taxonomy
  4. ^ USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Sonchus asper". The PLANTS Database (plants.usda.gov). Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  5. ^ Flora of North America, Sonchus asper (Linnaeus) Hill, 1769. Spiny-leaf sow-thistle, laiteron rude
  6. ^ Flora of China, Sonchus asper (Linnaeus) Hill, 1769. 花叶滇苦菜 hua ye dian ku cai
  7. ^ Altervista Flora Italiana, Sonchus asper (L.) Hill includes photos and European distribution map
  8. ^ De la Barra, N. 1997. Reconstrucción y Evolución del Paisaje Vegetal Autóctono de la Zona Urbana y Peri-urbana de la Ciudad de Cochabamba i–v, 1–174. Tesis, Universidad Mayor San Simón, Cochabamba
  9. ^ Marticorena, C. & M. Quezada. 1985. Catálogo de la Flora Vascular de Chile. Gayana, Botany 42: 1–157
  10. ^ Humbert, H. 1923. Les Composées de Madagascar. Mémoires de la Société Linnéenne de Normandie 25: 1–335.
  11. ^ Atlas of Living Australia
  12. ^ Sonchus oleraceus L. by iewf.org