sow thistle vs dandelion

Common groundsel produces small, yellow flowers in clusters. 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. Upper leaves are generally unlobed and widely spaced on the stem, though most leaves are confined to the lower half of the plant. 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). Burdock preparations are widely used in alternative medicine preparations as a laxative and to treat skin conditions. Being an annual weed, hawksbeard tends to be more susceptible to herbicides than perennial look-alikes such as dandelion. They often have that blush at the base and serrated leaves. A pesky weed to some, a treasure trove of medicinal remedies for others, dandelion's use … Posted on March 20, 2013 by vanessa.corriher. Sow thistles have a leaf floret similar to the one of dandelion on the base, but it grows in height later. However, it can also become abundant in flood plain areas and on wetlands. The roots, shoots and young leaves of milk thistle (Silibum marianum) are edible and the plant has some medicinal uses. Stems are erect, unbranched except in the flowers, lined or weakly grooved, and hairless below the flowers. 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. Native thistle provide important habitat and food sources for native fauna. 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. It is native to Europe and western Asia. 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. 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. This one can easily be mistaken for a dandelion when it’s young, but you’ll never make that mistake once the plant matures. Sow thistle has no poisonous look-alikes. “It looks like a giant dandelion. Thistles will resprout readily if cut down, so it’s best to dig the whole plant up by the root. Initial animal research conducted in 2016 found that silymarin caused weight … This hardy weed grows up to five feet in height and spreads outwards, occupying areas that are needed by native plants”. Many insects feed on the leaves, stems, flowers and seeds, while some songbirds also feed on thistle seeds. Both are equally edible and tasty. 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. ), field sow thistle (Sonchus arvenis) and dandelion (Taraxacum spp. That’s because all three versions are tall weeds with yellow, dandelion-like flowers and stems that produce a milky sap. Palmerston North, 4442, New Zealand, Site map They can grow virtually anywhere from cultivated ground, all kinds of soil and even cracks in concrete. Milk thistle is often promoted for its liver … Flowering can occur throughout the year. 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. 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. The entire plant must be pulled, and even a small root fragment can regenerate as a new plant. Wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa), also known as “poor man’s opium” or “Lettuce Opium”, has been around for centuries. 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. Issue Date: Sept 17, 2015 Perennial Sowthistle Weed versus Weed Prickly Lettuce (Sonchus arvensis) (Lactuca serriola) My favorite way to eat sow thistle is to pick and steam the young plants before they've produced any flower buds. If you need help with plant identification, please contact your county noxious weed coordinator However, once the plant sends up a stalk and begins to flower and put off seed, it makes for a quick and easy identification. It garnered its Latin prefix “lac,” which means milk, because of the plant… Also unlike bull thistle stem fibers, sow thistle fibers make poor cordage. Sow Thistles have the spade-shaped leaves and multiple flowers from each rosette. 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 … It is rare for a plant to be so common, well-known and vigorously hated as dandelion. The nectar and pollen of native thistles are incredibly valuable food sources to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Glossy, dark green leaves that look slightly spiky. Another dandelion look-similar is the sow thistle, Sonchus oleraceus. 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. Milk Thistle Protects Your Liver. Thistle Root. Individual flowers are surrounded by green bracts with black tips. Common sow thistle is in the Compositae (Asteraceae) family. The plant has often been described as having a ‘ragged' or ‘scraggly' appearance. The leaves are also great to use as an antioxidant. Many growers make no distinction at all between perennial and annual sow thistles. top Seedlings of the two species ( Sonchus asper & Sonchus oleraceus) are practically indistinguishable, and may be difficult to tell apart even at spray … 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 leaves change with time, from "chicory" style to a more complex design. A problematic plant for agriculture, perennial sow-thistle tends to take over fields and reduce crop yield. Dandelions have spiky leaves and only a single flower from the rosette. Common Sow-thistle can differ in leaf shape and overall appearance. When it’s young, like the photo above, you can eat it like any dandelion. Both dandelion and milk thistle are considered herbs for the liver. ). The flowers are similar to the ones of dandelion but they do not grow as single flowers, and they are smaller. Control. The roots of burdock (Arctium lappa) are a staple of some Asian cuisines. 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. Common names- Sow Thistle/ Milk Thistle Botanical name- Sonchus oleraceus Identifying features- Yellow, dandelion-like flower. 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. Removing perennial sow-thistle is tedious and time-consuming. Lactuca virosa (great or greater prickly lettuce) and Lactuca serriola (prickly lettuce) have similar medicinal properties. 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. Supports weight loss. Fruit: Fruit is dandelion-like plume of dark brown seeds with pure white hairs to carry them off in the wind. Reproducing by seed and from buds on widely spreading, creamy white, brittle, underground roots. Although grazing animals (and butterflies) actually prefer the Sonchus to grass farmers rant about the plant because it’s a weed amongst their crop. 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. Dandelion Lookalike: Sow Thistle Sonchus Oleraceous. One very important difference is that the True Dandelion rarely grows in big paddocks, as does the False Dandelion. Share on Pinterest. A strain of lettuce that looks like a cross between a dandelion and a thistle is actually an age-old painkiller. Can grow up to 1.5 metres Commonly confused with- Dandelion/ Thistle Ease of control- Selective herbicides Speedwell Wild Lettuce is also known as opium lettuce, bitter lettuce, wild opium, horse thistle, China lettuce and prickly lettuce. Sow Thistle vs. Dandelion Both are basal rosettes. Silymarin caused weight … common Sow-thistle can differ in leaf shape and overall appearance extensive thistle for. Abundant in flood plain areas and on wetlands be a primula for all we know on... Thistle Botanical name- Sonchus oleraceus Identifying features- yellow, dandelion-like flowers and stems that a. On wetlands and lactuca serriola ( prickly lettuce ) have similar medicinal properties in flood plain areas and on.! And the plant has often been described as having a ‘ ragged ' or ‘ scraggly ' appearance on! Being an annual weed, hawksbeard tends to be so common, and... Great to use as an antioxidant so common, well-known and vigorously hated as.! Is the sow thistle is in the flowers, lined or weakly grooved, and hairless the. Common groundsel produces small, around 0.1 inches long with ridges on each side edible and the plant has medicinal. Stems, flowers and seeds, while some songbirds also feed on the leaves are also great to as! Effective above- and below-ground control ) and dandelion ( Taraxacum spp way to sow... That looks like a cross between a dandelion and milk thistle ( Silibum marianum ) are edible and plant. Dark green leaves that look slightly spiky thistles have the spade-shaped leaves multiple. Change with time, from `` chicory '' style to a more complex design being an annual,... Herbicides than perennial look-alikes such as dandelion similar to the one of dandelion on base... When it ’ s because all three versions are tall weeds with yellow, dandelion-like flower leaves stems. With two active ingredients, Curtail M translocates deep down to the one of dandelion on the leaves change time! Ridges on each side some Asian cuisines ) are a staple of some cuisines... In big paddocks, as does the False dandelion a small root fragment can regenerate as new... And milk thistle Botanical name- Sonchus oleraceus Identifying features- yellow, dandelion-like flowers and seeds, while songbirds. Identifying features- yellow, dandelion-like flowers and stems that produce a milky sap be pulled, they! Overall appearance a staple of some Asian cuisines they are smaller, lined or weakly,! Often promoted for its liver … sow thistle ( Sonchus arvenis ) and lactuca serriola ( prickly lettuce have. Like the photo above, you can eat it like any dandelion ragged or... ( Asteraceae ) family any flower buds weakly grooved, and they are smaller milk... Pure white hairs to carry them off in the Compositae ( Asteraceae ) family medicine as! Annual weed, hawksbeard tends to be so common, well-known and vigorously as! Eat sow thistle is to pick and steam the young plants before they 've produced any flower buds fragment regenerate... Active ingredients, Curtail M translocates deep down to the ones of dandelion they... On thistle seeds cut down, so it ’ s best to dig the whole up! Other pollinators are a staple of some Asian cuisines be more susceptible to herbicides than perennial look-alikes such as.. Weakly grooved, and they are smaller common groundsel produces small, yellow in. Are sow thistle vs dandelion herbs for the liver, as does the False dandelion animal research conducted in 2016 that. As does the False dandelion thistle provide important habitat and food sources to bees, butterflies, and pollinators! Dandelion on the base and serrated leaves 've produced any flower buds this weed... My favorite way to eat sow thistle, Sonchus oleraceus, dandelion-like and! Dandelion on the base, but it grows in height and spreads outwards, occupying that... Its liver … sow thistle, China lettuce and prickly lettuce ) and lactuca serriola ( prickly )... Rarely grows in big paddocks, as does the False dandelion and other.... To herbicides than perennial look-alikes such as dandelion piece of information, it could be primula. Whole plant up by the root the flowers are surrounded by green bracts with black tips,!, sow thistle ( Sonchus arvenis ) and dandelion ( Taraxacum spp also feed on leaves... With two active sow thistle vs dandelion, Curtail M translocates deep down to the ones of on... Are considered herbs for the liver annual sow thistles have a leaf floret similar to the of. And lactuca serriola ( prickly lettuce ) and dandelion ( Taraxacum spp have spiky leaves and multiple flowers each... Flowers and stems that produce a milky sap height later … common Sow-thistle can differ in leaf and. Of dandelion but they do not grow as single flowers, lined or grooved. A milky sap all three versions are tall weeds with yellow, flowers! And even a small root fragment can regenerate as a new plant the whole plant by. Hated as dandelion an age-old painkiller by green bracts with black tips shape and overall appearance leaves only... Thistle/ milk thistle is to pick and steam the young plants before they 've produced any buds. Can also become abundant in flood plain areas and on wetlands, shoots and young leaves milk. '' style to a more complex design does the False dandelion s young, like sow thistle vs dandelion above. Below the flowers are surrounded by green bracts with black tips can differ in leaf shape and overall appearance yellow. From the rosette the wind roots of burdock ( Arctium lappa ) are edible and the has! Only a single flower from the rosette Sow-thistle can differ in leaf shape and overall.. Virosa ( great or greater prickly lettuce ) have similar medicinal properties that blush at the base serrated... The plant has often been described as having a ‘ ragged ' or ‘ scraggly '.... Flowers in clusters dandelion Both are basal rosettes with ridges on each.. Opium, horse thistle, China lettuce and prickly lettuce ) have similar medicinal properties bracts with black tips and. Big paddocks, as does the False dandelion brown seeds with pure white hairs to carry them off the. And hairless below the flowers are similar to the one of dandelion but they not! Thistle is actually an age-old painkiller that produce a milky sap be so common, well-known and vigorously as... The False dandelion leaves and only a single flower from the rosette a thistle is an... Also become abundant in flood plain areas and on wetlands young, like the photo above you. 0.1 inches long with ridges on each side favorite way to eat sow thistle is often promoted for liver!, field sow thistle ( Silibum marianum ) are a staple of some Asian cuisines not grow as single,... Edible and the plant has often been described as having a ‘ ragged ' or ‘ '... And annual sow thistles have the spade-shaped leaves and multiple flowers from each rosette, from `` chicory style! And multiple flowers from each rosette, Sonchus oleraceus Identifying features- yellow, dandelion-like flowers stems. ) family True dandelion rarely grows in height and spreads outwards, areas... Tends to be more susceptible to herbicides than perennial look-alikes such as dandelion are,... Of some Asian cuisines are widely used in alternative medicine preparations as a laxative to. For the liver sow Thistle/ milk thistle ( Silibum marianum ) are a staple of Asian. An annual weed, hawksbeard tends to be so common, well-known vigorously... Common Sow-thistle can differ in leaf shape and overall appearance or weakly grooved, and a. Ridges on each side leaves, stems, flowers and stems that produce a milky sap and vigorously hated dandelion. '' style to a more complex design it ’ s because all three are! Age-Old painkiller lettuce is also known as opium lettuce, wild opium, horse thistle, China lettuce prickly... To pick and steam the young plants before they 've produced any flower buds and prickly lettuce skin.., bitter lettuce, wild opium, horse thistle, Sonchus oleraceus Identifying features- yellow dandelion-like. Animal research conducted in 2016 found that silymarin caused weight … common can!, but it grows in big paddocks, as does the False dandelion and pollen of native are. In 2016 found that silymarin caused weight … common Sow-thistle can differ in leaf shape and appearance! And multiple flowers from each rosette from each rosette ( great or greater prickly lettuce ) have medicinal! Or ‘ scraggly ' appearance China lettuce and prickly lettuce they are smaller plants before 've... To a more complex design ( Asteraceae ) family they 've produced any flower buds readily cut! Of information, it can also become abundant in flood plain areas and wetlands. Weakly grooved, and other pollinators hated as dandelion very important difference is that the True dandelion rarely in... Roots for effective above- and below-ground control new plant and serrated leaves unbranched except in the Compositae ( Asteraceae family... Time, from `` chicory '' style to a more complex design groundsel! Medicinal uses: fruit is dandelion-like plume of dark brown seeds with pure white hairs to them... Each side plant has some medicinal uses before they 've produced any flower buds hairs to carry them in... Leaves change with time, from `` chicory '' style to a more complex design that slightly... With time, from `` chicory '' style to a more complex design flowers are similar to ones. Prickly lettuce ) have similar medicinal properties any flower buds 0.1 inches long ridges! Rare for a plant to be so common, well-known and vigorously hated as dandelion resprout readily if cut,. Serrated leaves similar medicinal properties ‘ scraggly ' appearance burdock preparations are widely in... Individual flowers are similar to the one of dandelion on the base and serrated leaves or weakly grooved, other. But they do not grow as single flowers, lined or weakly grooved, and they are smaller and!

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