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Sonchus oleraceus

 
Sonchus oleraceus

common sowthistle

Common name common sowthistle
Family asteraceae
Life cycle annual
Flowers yellow

Similar to prickly sowthistle and wild lettuce; even after studying my weed ID book and online resources, I'm not quite sure I'm correctly identifying this plant. It has a short taproot, yellow ray flowers similar to those of a dandelion, and bristly-margined leaves (but not particularly prickly). To me, the plant smells like lettuce. Most photos of common sowthistle show deeply cut leaves, which this plant did not have.

Sonchus oleraceus
This closeup shows the area where the leaves meet the stem (botanists call this the auricle, I think)

This is a weed in our garden

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Last modified: June 18, 2005
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