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Sonchus oleraceus L.
Family Asteraceae
Common name: Common Sowthistle

Sonchus oleraceus L. APNI*

Description: Annual herb, 30–110 cm high, with taproot and fibrous roots.

Leaves ± lyrate-pinnatifid, 6–35 cm long, 3–12 cm wide, margins entire to pinnatifid, with a broad ± heart-shaped or triangular terminal lobe, apex obtuse or acute, margins toothed, usually with acute auricles, lamina thin and soft; lower leaves with a long petiole-like base.

Heads 5–6 mm diam., few to many in cymose or umbellate inflorescence; involucral bracts glabrous or with glandular hairs along midline.

Achenes compressed-obovoid, 2.5–4 mm long, 3-ribbed on each face, wrinkled, with narrow margins; pappus 5–8 mm long.


Illustration
C.Wardrop

Flower
Photo T.M. Tame

Fruit
Photo L. von Richter

Herbarium
Sheet

Flowering: most of year.

Distribution and occurrence: Widespread weed of cultivation, pastures and disturbed areas. Native of Eur.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS, *NWP, *SWP, *NFWP, *SFWP, *LHI
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *Tas. *W.A. *S.A. *N.T.
AVH map***

Text by L. Murray
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 3 (1992)


APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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