Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Common Sowthistle - Sonchus oleraceus   L.
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Sonchus with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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DistributionFound across the state, with gaps, notably between the Mountains and central Piedmont. First collected in 1926 in Greensboro, Guilford County.

Native of Europe; in N.A. throughout.
AbundanceUncommon to infrequent, except rare in the Sandhills and Mountains/foothills.
HabitatRoadsides, railroad margins, campus weed, edge of parking lot, pastures, hog lot, fields, waste ground.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting late March-July.
IdentificationGenerally speaking, sowthistles resemble yellow-flowered wild lettuces (genus Lactuca), but the heads are much broader. Field Sowthistle (S. arvensis) resembles Common Sowthistle, but its heads are broader (3-5 cm across vs. 1.5-2.5 cm across in Common Sowthistle) and the involucres are taller (15-20 mm tall vs. 9-13 mm tall). Note than Common Sowthistle occurs statewide, whereas Field Sowthistle is known only from a few mountain sites.
Taxonomic Comments
Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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US Status
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