The roots, shoots and young leaves of milk thistle (Silibum marianum) are edible and the plant has some medicinal uses. Seedlings of the two species ( Sonchus asper & Sonchus oleraceus) are practically indistinguishable, and may be difficult to tell apart even at spray … It garnered its Latin prefix “lac,” which means milk, because of the plant… Sonchus asper, the prickly sow-thistle, rough milk thistle, spiny sowthistle, sharp-fringed sow thistle, or spiny-leaved sow thistle, is a widespread plant in the dandelion tribe within the daisy family. However, it can also become abundant in flood plain areas and on wetlands. Issue Date: Sept 17, 2015 Perennial Sowthistle Weed versus Weed Prickly Lettuce (Sonchus arvensis) (Lactuca serriola) Sow Thistle vs. Dandelion Both are basal rosettes. Another dandelion look-similar is the sow thistle, Sonchus oleraceus. Removing perennial sow-thistle is tedious and time-consuming. The flowers are similar to the ones of dandelion but they do not grow as single flowers, and they are smaller. Common names- Sow Thistle/ Milk Thistle Botanical name- Sonchus oleraceus Identifying features- Yellow, dandelion-like flower. Native thistle provide important habitat and food sources for native fauna. Common sow thistle is in the Compositae (Asteraceae) family. Many insects feed on the leaves, stems, flowers and seeds, while some songbirds also feed on thistle seeds. “It looks like a giant dandelion. Glossy, dark green leaves that look slightly spiky. Reproducing by seed and from buds on widely spreading, creamy white, brittle, underground roots. Flowering can occur throughout the year. Posted on March 20, 2013 by vanessa.corriher. The leaves change with time, from "chicory" style to a more complex design. Common Sow-thistle can differ in leaf shape and overall appearance. Both dandelion and milk thistle are considered herbs for the liver. Many growers make no distinction at all between perennial and annual sow thistles. Share on Pinterest. Individual flowers are surrounded by green bracts with black tips. Some authorities believe that populations of Clammy Sow-thistle (Sochus tenerrimus) found in Australia are actually one of these forms of Common Sow-thistle.Common Sow-thistle belongs to a group of mainly yellow-flowered daisies in the Tribe Lactuceae. Control. If you need help with plant identification, please contact your county noxious weed coordinator Milk Thistle Protects Your Liver. A problematic plant for agriculture, perennial sow-thistle tends to take over fields and reduce crop yield. ), field sow thistle (Sonchus arvenis) and dandelion (Taraxacum spp. Can grow up to 1.5 metres Commonly confused with- Dandelion/ Thistle Ease of control- Selective herbicides Speedwell top Sow thistle also has branched leafy flower stems but the flowers of sow thistle are larger than those of hawksbeard, and the leaves differ in shape. They often have that blush at the base and serrated leaves. Milk thistle is often promoted for its liver … The root is edible, and according to one source, it tastes “like burdock root only better.”While burdock stalks are delicious, I really can’t stand burdock root, and I think it tastes like bitter dirt.Thus, I’m not excited about cooking up a thistle root. Common groundsel produces small, yellow flowers in clusters. May Be Confused With May be confused with prickly sow thistle (Sonchus asper), common sow thistle (Sonchus oleraceus), and though shorter, common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). The plant body looks a lot like bull thistle but sow thistle has a number of small, yellow flowers rather than one bulbous purple or tan flower. It is native to Europe and western Asia. Burdock preparations are widely used in alternative medicine preparations as a laxative and to treat skin conditions. Both are equally edible and tasty. The entire plant must be pulled, and even a small root fragment can regenerate as a new plant. This hardy weed grows up to five feet in height and spreads outwards, occupying areas that are needed by native plants”. That’s because all three versions are tall weeds with yellow, dandelion-like flowers and stems that produce a milky sap. As for the sow thistle’s botanical name: Sonchus is the ancient Greek name for the plant and means “hollow” referring to the plant’s hollow stem, a point of identification. Seeds are small, around 0.1 inches long with ridges on each side. A strain of lettuce that looks like a cross between a dandelion and a thistle is actually an age-old painkiller. One very important difference is that the True Dandelion rarely grows in big paddocks, as does the False Dandelion. Dandelions have spiky leaves and only a single flower from the rosette. However, once the plant sends up a stalk and begins to flower and put off seed, it makes for a quick and easy identification. Curtail M provides the best in-crop, systemic action with trusted Group 4 chemistry to kill the roots of Canada thistle and other troublesome perennial weeds such as sow thistle and dandelion. To identify dandelion by leaf and stem ONLY, Samuel Thayer wrote the following key that differentiates four different plant greens that can be offered to wildlife patients, cat’s ear (Hypochareis radicata), wild lettuce ( Lactuca spp. Wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa), also known as “poor man’s opium” or “Lettuce Opium”, has been around for centuries. ). A pesky weed to some, a treasure trove of medicinal remedies for others, dandelion's use … Thistles will resprout readily if cut down, so it’s best to dig the whole plant up by the root. The nectar and pollen of native thistles are incredibly valuable food sources to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Fruit: Fruit is dandelion-like plume of dark brown seeds with pure white hairs to carry them off in the wind. 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. Supports weight loss. The leaves are also great to use as an antioxidant. Although grazing animals (and butterflies) actually prefer the Sonchus to grass farmers rant about the plant because it’s a weed amongst their crop. Thistle Root. Being an annual weed, hawksbeard tends to be more susceptible to herbicides than perennial look-alikes such as dandelion. When it’s young, like the photo above, you can eat it like any dandelion. Initial animal research conducted in 2016 found that silymarin caused weight … The plant has often been described as having a ‘ragged' or ‘scraggly' appearance. This is a nutritious plant that contains several minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and zinc) and vitamins ( A, B1, B2, B3, B6, & C). Palmerston North, 4442, New Zealand, Site map They can grow virtually anywhere from cultivated ground, all kinds of soil and even cracks in concrete. If we knew whether the sap is clear or opaque white, that would at least place it in (or out) of the lettuce/sow thistle/dandelion group. My favorite way to eat sow thistle is to pick and steam the young plants before they've produced any flower buds. I would say it has two main look alikes- either it's close relative, the dandelion, but the difference is that dandelion's leaves all grow flat along the ground, and only have one flower per plant while sow thistle … Earlier in the plant’s life it will make a kind of basal rosette, which is prior to flowering or putting out seeds, which makes it difficult at first to distinguish between the Dandelion, Wild Lettuce, and Sow Thistle. Sow thistles have a leaf floret similar to the one of dandelion on the base, but it grows in height later. It is rare for a plant to be so common, well-known and vigorously hated as dandelion. In Sow Thistles the flower stems are hollow but branched (so not a Dandelion) with white latex turning orange with time and with glaucous or bright green leafy stems and leaves with auricles. Dandelions in Finland are known by the collective name Taraxacum officinale, but they should really be spoken about in plural form because they are so diverse, comprised of about 500 micro-species in Finland alone. Lactuca virosa (great or greater prickly lettuce) and Lactuca serriola (prickly lettuce) have similar medicinal properties. Sow thistle has no poisonous look-alikes. Without that piece of information, it could be a primula for all we know. With two active ingredients, Curtail M translocates deep down to the extensive thistle roots for effective above- and below-ground control. Upper leaves are generally unlobed and widely spaced on the stem, though most leaves are confined to the lower half of the plant. Sow Thistles have the spade-shaped leaves and multiple flowers from each rosette. This one can easily be mistaken for a dandelion when it’s young, but you’ll never make that mistake once the plant matures. 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