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Sonchus oleraceus L.
Common sowthistle; Common Sow-Thistle; Annual Sow-Thistle; Hares Lettuce; Colewort; Milk Thistle; Thistle Milkweed; Milky Tassel; Swinies

Life   Plantae   Dicotyledoneae   Asteraceae   Sonchus

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Sonchus oleraceus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Sonchus oleraceus
Sonchus oleraceus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Sonchus oleraceus

Sonchus oleraceus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Sonchus oleraceus
Sonchus oleraceus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Sonchus oleraceus

Sonchus oleraceus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Sonchus oleraceus
Sonchus oleraceus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Sonchus oleraceus

Sonchus oleraceus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Sonchus oleraceus
Sonchus oleraceus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Sonchus oleraceus

Sonchus oleraceus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Sonchus oleraceus
Sonchus oleraceus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Sonchus oleraceus

Sonchus oleraceus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Sonchus oleraceus
Sonchus oleraceus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Sonchus oleraceus

Sonchus oleraceus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Sonchus oleraceus
Sonchus oleraceus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Sonchus oleraceus

Associates · map
FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Albuginaceae  Albugo ipomoeae-panduratae @ BPI (1)
Andrenidae  Andrena chalybioides @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Andrena chlorogaster @ UCRC_ENT (2)
Aphididae  Aphis ( @ AMNH_PBI (3)

Hyperomyzus ( @ CSCA_TCN (11)

Hyperomyzus lactucae @ AMNH_PBI (7)

Macrosiphum ( @ AMNH_PBI (12)

Rhopalosiphum padi @ CSCA_TCN (1)

Uroleucon ( @ NCSU (14)
Apidae  Apis mellifera @ BBSL (1)
Coleosporiaceae  Coleosporium sonchi-arvensis @ BPI (3)

Coleosporium sonchi @ 138414A (1); BPI (23)
Entylomataceae  Entyloma bullulum @ BPI (2)
Erysiphaceae  Erysiphe cichoracearum @ BPI (5)

Oidium erysiphoides @ BPI (1)

Sphaerotheca fuliginea @ BPI (1)
Halictidae  Lasioglossum titusi @ BBSL (2)
Lygaeidae  Nysius caledoniae @ BPBM_TCN (12)

Nysius palor @ BPBM_TCN (3)
Megachilidae  Megachile subnigra @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Osmia coloradensis @ UCRC_ENT (3)
Miridae  Lygus lineolaris @ MEMU_ENT (1)
Mycosphaerellaceae  Cercospora oleraceus @ BPI (1)

Septoria sonchifolia @ BPI (3)
Peronosporaceae  Bremia lactucae @ BPI (23)

Bremia sonchi @ BPI (9)
Phaeosphaeriaceae  Leptosphaeria ogilviensis @ BPI (2)
Pleosporaceae  Alternaria sonchi @ BPI (2)

Macrosporium cladosporioides @ BPI (1)
Pucciniaceae  Miyagia pseudosphaeria @ BPI (3)

Puccinia sonchi @ BPI (6)
Rhopalidae  Liorhyssus hyalinus @ BPBM_TCN (1)
_  Ascochyta sonchi @ BPI (2)

Ascochyta tussilaginis @ BPI (1)

unknown unknown @ AMNH_PBI (14)

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Following modified from Flora of Taiwan, National Taiwan University
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Following modified from Delaware Wildflowers
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Delaware Wildflowers  •  Scientific names

Sonchus oleraceus L. Delectable Sowthistle
Asteraceae — Aster family
Sonchus oleraceus
September 2009

Guide to Sonchus of Delaware

Search Google Delaware USDA

Photos copyright David G. Smith

Delaware Wildflowers main page

Following modified from Malezas de Mexico, CONABIO
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Following modified from Plants Database, United States Department of Agriculture
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http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SOOL ---> https://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SOOL
https://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SOOL ---> http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=SOOL
http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=SOOL ---> https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=SOOL
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You are here: Home / Plant Profile

Sonchus oleraceus L.
common sowthistle

Image of Sonchus oleraceus

General Information
Symbol: SOOL
Group: Dicot
Family: Asteraceae
Duration: Annual
Growth Habit : Forb/herb
Native Status : AK   I
GL   I
HI   I
L48   I
PB   I
PR   I
VI   I
Other Common Names: pualele
sow thistle
Data Source and Documentation
About our new maps
Plants-NRCS Logos
green round image for nativity Native blue round image for introduced Introduced ocre round image for introduced and nativity Both white round image for no status Absent/Unreported
image for native, but no county data Native, No County Data image for introduced, but no county data Introduced, No County Data both introduced and native, but no county data Both, No County Data
Native Status:
lower 48 status L48    Alaska status AK    Hawaii status HI    Puerto Rico status PR    Virgin Islands status VI    Navassa Island NAV    Canada status CAN    Greenland status GL    Saint Pierre and Michelon status SPM    North America NA   


click on a thumbnail to view an image, or see all the Sonchus thumbnails at the Plants Gallery

©Richard A. Howard. Provided by Smithsonian Institution, Richard A. Howard Photograph Collection . United States, HI, Molokai. Usage Requirements .

Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 317. Provided by Kentucky Native Plant Society . Scanned by Omnitek Inc . Usage Requirements .




Click on a scientific name below to expand it in the PLANTS Classification Report.
Rank Scientific Name and Common Name
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Asterales
Family Asteraceae ⁄ Compositae – Aster family
Genus Sonchus L. – sowthistle
Species Sonchus oleraceus L. – common sowthistle

Subordinate Taxa

This plant has no children

Legal Status

U.S. Weed Information
Sonchus oleraceus annual sowthistle pualele sow thistle This plant can be weedy or invasive according to the authoritative sources noted below.This plant may be known by one or more common names in different places, and some are listed above. Click on an acronym to view each weed list, or click here for a composite list of Weeds of the U.S.
N'EAST Uva, R.H., J.C. Neal,and J.M. DiTomaso. 1997. Weeds of the Northeast . Cornell University Press. Ithaca, New York.
SWSS Southern Weed Science Society. 1998. Weeds of the United States and Canada. CD-ROM . Southern Weed Science Society. Champaign, Illinois.
WSWS Whitson, T.D. (ed.) et al.. 1996. Weeds of the West . Western Society of Weed Science in cooperation with Cooperative Extension Services, University of Wyoming. Laramie, Wyoming.

Wetland Status

Interpreting Wetland Status

Top Level Regions
Caribbean FACU
Hawaii FACU
North America
Alaska UPL
Arid West UPL
Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain FACU
Eastern Mountains and Piedmont UPL
Great Plains UPL
Midwest FACU
Northcentral & Northeast FACU
Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast UPL

Related Links

More Accounts and Images
ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (SOOL)
CalPhotos (SOOL)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (SOOL)
Jepson Interchange (University of California - Berkeley) (SOOL)
Native American Ethnobotany (University of Michigan - Dearborn) (SOOL)
USF Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants (SOOL)
University of Tennessee Herbarium (Distribution) (SOOL)
University of Washington Burke Museum (SOOL)
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Freckmann Herbarium (SOOL)
Related Websites
Arizona: abstract & image of annual sowthistle (Sonchus oleraceus) (SOOL)
British Columbia Ag. & Food, Crop Protection Program (SOOL)
Canada-Manitoba Weeds (SOOL)
Idaho One Plan abstract & image (SOOL)
UC Davis, IPM: abstract & images (SOOL)
University of Hawaii Campus Plants: images (SOOL)
Virginia: abstract & image (SOOL)
Weed Science Society of America (SOOL)



Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds
Everitt Minor


Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds


Everitt, J.H., D.L. Drawe, and R.I. Lonard. 1999. Field guide to the broad leaved herbaceous plants of South Texas used by livestock and wildlife . Texas Tech University Press. Lubbock.

Description of Values

Value Class Food Cover
High Average 25-50% of diet Regular source of cover
Low 5-10% of diet Infrequently used as cover
Minor 2-5% of diet Sparsely used as cover
Moderate Average 10-25% of diet Occasional source of cover

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Following modified from Flora of North America
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Link to Flora of North America home
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FNA Vol. 19, 20 and 21 Page 273 , 274, 275 Login | eFloras Home | Help
FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 19, 20 and 21 | Asteraceae | Sonchus

3. Sonchus oleraceus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 794. 1753.

Common sow-thistle, laiteron

Annuals or biennials , 10—140(—200) cm. Stem bases soft to hard, herbaceous, often hollow. Leaves: blades of mid cauline spatulate or oblong to obovate or lanceolate, 6—35 × 1—15 cm, bases auriculate, auricles deltate to lanceolate, ± straight, acute, margins usually pinnately (often runcinately) lobed, lobes ± deltate to lanceolate, not constricted at bases, terminals usually larger than laterals, entire or dentate. Peduncles usually glabrous, sometimes stipi-tate-glandular. Involucres 9—13+ mm. Phyllaries usually glabrous, sometimes tomentose and/or stipitate-glandular. Corollas: ligules ± equaling tubes. Cypselae dark brown, mostly oblanceoloid, 2.5—3.5+ mm, ribs 2—4 on each face, faces transversely rugulose or tuberculate across and between ribs; pappi 5—8 mm. 2 n = 32, 36.

Flowering (Apr—)Jul—Oct (year-round in south). Disturbed sites, gardens, roadsides, along streams; 0—2000 m; introduced; Greenland; St. Pierre and Miquelon; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.W.T., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask.; Ala., Alaska, Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kansas, Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Nebr., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., N.Dak., Ohio, Okla., Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex., Utah, Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.; Europe; introduced also in Mexico, West Indies, Bahamas, Central America, South America, Africa, Asia, Pacific Islands (New Zealand), Australia.

Updated: 2020-09-24 19:24:42 gmt
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