Etymology: Sonchus: the Greek name for sowthistle
Plants: erect, perennial, 16"-60" tall forb with milky juice; stems hairless below the inflorescence; deep, creeping roots forming large patches
Leaves: alternate, edges prickly, lower leaves mostly pinnately-divided, upper leaves upper smaller, less divided and with heart-shaped bases clasping part way around the stem
Flowers: head 1 1/4"-2" wide with yellow ray flowers; inflorescence of several heads in open, branched clusters; blooms July-Oct.
Fruits: wrinkled, dry seed with 5 obvious ribs on each side
Habitat: disturbed sites
Conservation Status: Introduced - naturalized
Flora of North America: Flora of North America Floristic Rating: Wetland Indicator = FAC- USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos Dan Tenaglia's The Missouri Flora: Fabulous photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leave arrangement key. David G. Smith's "Delaware Wilflowers": Beautiful photographs; descriptions Illinois Wildflowers: Wonderful photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leaf arrangement key Southwest School of Botanical Medicine: Britton & Brown Illustrated Flora - 2nd Edition (1913) "An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada"