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Sonchus spp.

Common Name(s):
Sow thistle, Sowthistle
Annuals, Herbs

Several species of sowthistle, in the Asteraceae (daisy) family, are common in nurseries and landscapes. The species can overlap the winter and summer annual categories. Seeds germinate in the fall or spring. Seedlings form a rosette of waxy leaves with variable leaf margins. One of the most common species, spiny sowthistle, has prickly leaf margins. In contrast to wild lettuce (Lactuca spp.), sowthistle lacks prickles on the mid-vein of the leaves. In warm weather plants bolt to about 3 to 4 feet tall, but may be shorter. Flowers are bright yellow. Seedhead is similar to dandelion, but smaller. Seeds have a pappus that aids wind and water dispersal. Do not let plants go to seed in the nursery. Well managed by preemergence broadleaf herbicides labled for use.

winter and summer annual weed
wind, water

NCCES plant id: 3059

Sonchus spp. Sonchus asper habit
Sonchus spp. Sonchus asper rosette
Sonchus spp. Sonchus asper stem
Sonchus spp. Sonchus asper leaf
Sonchus spp. Sonchus asper leaf margin
Sonchus spp. Sonchus asper inflorescence
Sonchus spp. Sonchus asper flower head with fruits