Sonchus asper

(Spiny Sow-thistle)


Sonchus asper, Wildflower Center, Austin, Travis Co. 1651


Sonchus asper, Washington-on-the-Brazos, Washington Co. 2659


Sonchus asper, Wildflower Center, Austin, Travis Co. 1664


Sonchus asper, Wildflower Center, Austin, Travis Co. 1666


Sonchus asper, near San Saba, San Saba Co. 0143

Scientific Name Sonchus asper USDA PLANTS Symbol SOAS
Common Name Spiny Sow-thistle ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 38424
Family Asteraceae (Sunflower) SEINet
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Description Habitat: Most soils and habitats, often disturbed areas; native to Europe but found almost everywhere in North America.
Plant: Erect, coarse annual up to 4 ft. tall, sometimes taller; solitary stems branched above and full of latex.
Leaves: Alternate, clasping, incised (lower) to dentate (mid-stem and above) leaves with sharp spines at lobe tips, 3 to 8 inches long overall; becoming smaller and lanceolate-deltoid above.
Inflorescence: Solitary yellow flower heads resembling dandelions atop short leafless stalks; about 1-1/8 inches across; many rays but no disk florets.
Bloom Period: All year.
References: "Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country" by Marshall Enquist and "Wildflowers of Texas" by Geyata Ajilvsgi.
BONAP Distribution Map

Map Color Key
Texas Status:

Banner photo of Lupinus ssp. by Rick Capozza, Austin TX

© Tom Lebsack 2023