Species: Smooth Sow-thistle (Sonchus oleraceus)

Family: Asters (ASTERACEAE or COMPOSITAE)

Category: Flowering Plants

Location: NW

A. Flowering Plants

More extensive information on flowering plants can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Asters (ASTERACEAE or COMPOSITAE)

This is one of the largest worldwide flowering plant families and is well represented in the UK. The name Compositae refers to the clustering of the flowers (called florets) into compact heads, so that an entire cluster represents a single 'flower'. They also have one-seeded fruits called achenes.

C. Smooth Sow-thistle (Sonchus oleraceus)

This native species has leaves with the end lobe the largest, and with softly spiny margins, clasping the stem with arrow-shaped points. The May flowerheads are yellow, and the pappuses can be used like the dandelion clock.

Sow Thistle leaves, if young, can be added to salads or cooked like spinach. The milky sap is a good skin cleanser, and is said to cure warts, but then again so are several hundred other remedies.

Images

Smooth Sow-thistle

The May flowerheads of Smooth Sow-thistle are yellow, and the pappuses can be used like the dandelion clock.

Smooth Sow-thistle

The May flowerheads of Smooth Sow-thistle are yellow, and the pappuses can be used like the dandelion clock.

Smooth Sow-thistle

The May flowerheads of Smooth Sow-thistle are yellow, and the pappuses can be used like the dandelion clock.