Common name: Prickly Sowthistle
Sonchus asper (L.) Hill APNI*
Synonyms: Sonchus oleraceus var. asper L. APNI*
Sonchus asper subsp. glaucescens (Jord.) Ball APNI*
Sonchus asper (L.) Hill subsp. asper APNI*
Sonchus asper subsp. nymanii Hegi APNI*
Description: Annual, 20–150 cm high, with woody taproot; stem to 2 cm diam. at base, hollow.
Leaves pinnatifid to pinnatisect, oblanceolate to lanceolate in outline, apex acute, with rounded auricles and pungent spines on margins, basal leaves lacking auricles and sometimes forming a rosette, 4–20 cm long, 2–7 cm wide, reticulate veins prominent.
Heads 5–6 mm diam.; involucral bracts glabrous to glandular hairy.
Achenes flattened, elliptic, 2–3 mm long, 3-ribbed on each face, margins winged, scabrous on margins and sometimes on wings; pappus c. 8 mm long.
Distribution and occurrence: Weed of most habitats, particularly roadsides, cultivation, gardens and wasteland. Native of Europe.
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.
Sonchus aspera subsp. glaucescens has been misapplied to this taxon. (APC, 31 July 2018)
Text by L. Murray, edited C. Herscovitch July 2013, per I.R. Thompson in Muelleria 25:59-100 (2007); updated L. Murray Sep 2017.
Taxon concept: APC 2017
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.