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UK Nature  > Wild Flowers  > Yellow Wild Flowers  >
Sonchus oleraceus




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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