Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Common Sowthistle - Sonchus oleraceus   L.
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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AuthorL.
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 (30-50 mm across vs. 15-25 mm 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.
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State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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