Sonchus aemulus Merino
Sonchus australis Hort. ex Colla
Sonchus borderi Gand.
Sonchus carolinianus Walter
Sonchus crocifolius Hort. ex Sch.Bip.
Sonchus cuspidatus Blume
Sonchus decipiens (De Not.) Zenari
Sonchus eryngiifolius Sosn.
Sonchus eryngioides DC.
Sonchus fallax Wallr.
Sonchus ferox Wall.
Sonchus glaber Thunb.
Sonchus infestus Poepp. ex DC.
Sonchus oleraceus Wall.
Sonchus spinosus Lam.
Sonchus spinulosus Bigelow
Sonchus sulphurous Boiss.
Sonchus tibesticus Quézel
Sonchus umbellatus E.Mey. ex DC.
Sonchus viridis Zenari
Sonchus eryngiifolius Sosn. ex Grossh.
Sonchus giganteus Shuttlew. ex Rouy
Sonchus glaucescens Jord.
Sonchus graecus Reut. ex E.Weiss
Sonchus kralikii Rouy
Sonchus nymanii Tineo & Guss.
Common Name: Prickly Sow Thistle
Sonchus asper is an erect, annual plant, occasionally becoming biennial; it can grow 100 - 150cm tall. The stem can be simple or branched[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine. It is sometimes cultivated locally as a food plant in New Zealand[
Sonchus asper is a weed of cultivated land and waste places. It has spread through human activity to most of the temperate zone and is even found in the tropics. One report says that although it is a weed, it is generally not considered noxious in agriculture and horticulture[
]. Another report says that it has been declared a noxious weed in several countries[
Originally native to Europe, N. Africa and W. Asia, the plant has spread with human activity to most temperate regions
Cultivated soil and waste places[
Succeeds in most soils in a sunny position. Dislikes dry conditions[
]. Tolerant of saline soils[
Tender young leaves and stem tops - raw or cooked[
]. They can be added to salads or used like spinach[
]. The young leaves have a mild agreeable flavour[
]. The stems should be bruised and the bitter-tasting milky juice washed out before eating or cooking them[
The stems have been peeled and eaten raw like celery[
The plant is pounded and applied as a poultice to wounds and boils[
The latex in the plant has been used as a treatment on warts[
Sesquiterpene lactones, especially of the eudesmanolide type, have been isolated from both roots and aerial parts; several of these are known to be effective against Plasmodium falciparum, fungi and inflammations[
The entire plant contains a sticky white latex[
Seed - sow spring or late summer in situ.