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