|Scientific Name||Sonchus oleraceus L.|
|Common Names||English: Smooth sowthistle, common sowthistle; German: Kohl-Gänsedistel; French: Laiteron maraîcher; Spanish: Lechuguilla|
|Description||Annual, lactiferous, seed-propagated weed with strong, cone-shaped taproot. S. oleraceus produces latex and is a preferred feed for birds, chicken and geese.|
Flower heads light yellow to greenish yellow (Sonchus arvensis: intensive yellow). Leaves and stems contain milky sap. Soft, floppy, shiny, greasy, bluegreen leaves.
Round, often flat and sinuate in front, light green, entire, petiolate.
Erect, thick, ramified, up to 80 - 100 cm (2.62 - 3.28 ft) tall.
First leaves nearly circular, with fine teeth; following leaves runcinate-pinnatifid or undivided, soft, blue-green, enclosing the stalk sagittately, prickly dentate.
Flower heads (only labial flowers) light yellow to greenish yellow.
Capitulums and peduncles without glandular hairs.
Early summer - autumn.
Achene, brownish, oval/oblong, sometimes curved.
Germination primarily in spring.
Shallow germinator (up to 2 cm; 0.78 inch).
Seeds are brown, wrinkled and unwinged.
Viability of Seeds
Up to 8 years and more.
Approx. 4,000-5,000 seeds/plant.
Seeds are dispersed by wind.
Usually fresh seeds are not dormant.
Waysides, wasteland, cultivated ground, and even at roadsides and pavement.
Primarily on humus-rich, chalky, mild soils well-supplied with nutrients.
S. arvensis is less competitive than Sonchus asper. It only leads to a moderate yield reduction and is easy to control in corn and cereals.
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