perennial sowthistle
Sonchus arvensis L.


Sonchus arvensis is a perennial herbaceous plant. Stems can reach 4.9 ft. (1.5 m) in height and contain milky sap.
Leaves are sessile, alternate, clasping, up to 12 in. (30.5 cm) long and decrease in size further up the stem, margins undulate with sharp spines.
Flowering occurs in June to October, when yellow, tight, dandelion-like flower heads develop at the tips of the branches. Flowers open 2-3 hours after sunrise and close about noon.
Fruits are reddish, ribbed and have a tuft of hair at the top.
Ecological Threat
Sonchus arvensis occurs along roadsides, railroads and other disturbed habitat. It is native to Eurasia.

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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Sonchus
Subject: Sonchus arvensis L.

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
field sowthistle, creeping sowthistle, field sow-thistle


Plants - Forbs/Herbs