Sonchus asper

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Sonchus asper
Sonchus asper2.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Sonchus
S. asper
Binomial name
Sonchus asper
(L.) Hill 1769

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 plant in the dandelion tribe within the daisy family.

Sonchus asper is an annual or biennial herb sometimes reaching a height of 200 cm. 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]


  1. ^ The Plant List, Sonchus asper (L.) Hill
  2. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  3. ^ USDA GRIN Taxonomy
  4. ^ "Sonchus asper". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. 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

External links[edit]