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Common Name(s): Smooth Sow-thistle
Scientific Name: Sonchus oleraceus
Sonchus oleraceus, more commonly known as Smooth Sow-thistle, is a native annual or overwintering weed common on arable land on most soils throughout the UK. It is also found on wasteland, roadsides and in gardens. Smooth sow-thistle is a pioneer species that colonises disturbed ground but it prefers nutrient rich soils. It's a medium to tall greyish plant with upper leaves clasping the stem with triangular, pointed basal lobes. Flowerheads are pale yellow, 20 to 25 mm, borne in lax clusters. Smooth sow-thistle flowers mainly from June to August but flowering can start in April and continue until the first frosts. The flowers are self-fertile. Mature seeds are formed 1 week after flowering.
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