Images by Gurcharan Singh & (Alka Khare – Id by Nidhan Singh), (Formore photos & complete details, click on the links)




Common sowthistle, Sow thistle, Smooth Sow Thistle, Annual Sow Thistle, Hare’s Colwort, Hare’s Thistle, Milky Tassel, Swinies, Hare’s-lettuce, Milk thistle • Hindi: दूधी Dudhi • Manipuri: খোমথোক্পী Khomthokpi;
As per efi thread : Perhaps no pair of species has been as confusing for me as distinction between Sonchus oleraceous and S. asper. This confusion has been more so once I started observing specimens in Delhi more closely. Classical distinction between the two species is commonly based on sharply spiny leaf margins and rounded basal auricles in S. asper and absence or spiny margins are very small spiny teeth and straight basal auricles in S. oleraceous.
While studying the specimens in my area critically I noticed that young specimens (of S. asper ) especially in early part of the season say in March-early April in Delhi the plants are with no obvious marginal spines and straight basal auricles with acute tips of lobes, but same plants towards the end of April have sharply spiny leaves, and some auricles are clearly rounded and some with straight acute auricles; 


Sonchus oleraceous ABFEB2018/02 : 6 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (16)

This is another difficult genera I am trying to understand. The plants I studied have spiny leaves, red-tipped glandular hair on stems and phyllaries, 2-2.5cm flower-heads and wrinkled, ridged 4mm-long achenes. While the spikes on leaves point to S. asper, the downward-pointing auricles point to S. oleraceous.
I counted the involucral bracts on two heads and found them to be 34 and 21, both less than 35. S. asper is supposed to have 35 to 45 involucral bracts while S. oleraceous only up to 35. Another point in favour of oleraceous.
The ripe achene on oleraceous is supposed to be 4mm long with longitudinal ridges with protuberances which matches our plants. The hair on its head are white and unbranched about twice as long as the achene. My close-ups show the hair themselves are not smooth but I could not find any reference to that.
Based on the two above characters and the flower size, I am inclined to believe that our plants are S. oleraceous and not S. asper but I haven’t seen the achenes of S. asper to compare. The achenes of S. wightianus on our site look very similar to the ones I photographed, so I am confused.
Please advise.
Sonchus oleraceous?
Above Mcleodganj, Dharamshala, HP
1800m approx.
3-5 February, 2018
Habit: 95cm tall, well-branched
Flowers: Several, 2-2.5cm across, on pedicels 1.5-8cm long, involucral bracts less than 35 (based on two measurements which were 21 and 34)
Fruit: Achenes 4mm long, translucent when unripe, brown when ready, ridged and rugose, tipped with white unbranched hair twice long.
Leaves: Lobed, spiked, amplexicaul with two auricles pointing downwards, not rounded.
Compositae ID (Hooghly, WB) 31-03-12 SK-1:
Is it the same Sonchus arvensis as the one in my earlier post at – efi thread ?

Species : UNKNOWN
Habit & Habitat : herb, wild
Date : 30-03-12, 9.00 a.m.
Place : Kamarkundu (Hooghly), WB

It is a common plant. Sonchus oleracea [Compositae]


Thistle for ID : Nasik : 281011 : AK-3:
A small herb growing wild at Nasik, Maharashtra on the 18th of Sept,11.

Sonchus oleraceous

Is this also Sonchus oleraceous? Picture taken on 17th Oct,2007 at Nasik.

Yes …


Sonchus arvensis ?? 201111-PKA1: Seen this herb on the way to Srinagar from Sonmarg.
I think this is “Sonchus arvensis “.
Family: Asteraceae
Date/Time: 23-09-2011 / 10:00AM
Plant habit: Herb
Habitat: Wild

I think it is Sonchus oleraceous. In S. arvensis the leaf bases are not sharply auricled and peduncles and heads prominently glandular:

Here is my upload of S. arvensis from Delhi


plant id: habitat – garden….place – ambala cantt:
Please help me to identify this plant..
Place – Ambala Cantt
Month – December
Habitat – Garden
Habit – Small plant, almost prostrate
Leaves – Large about 15 cm
Stem – Weak
Flower – Yellow

Looks like Sonchus to me. May be Sonchus arvensis.

I hope Sonchus oleraceous


KAS Week::(Sonchus oleraceus – 10/10/2012-NJ):
Sonchus oleraceus – (Mhatara– Marathi)


Sonchus for ID : Nasik : 141112 : AK-3:
A thistle seen growing wild in a plant nursery in Nasik on 3/1/2008.
Small plant with a yellow flower.
Picture taken in Gangajal Nursery, Nasik.

Could be a dandelion, Taraxacum officinale. The leaves are a bit of a puzzle, because they are not nearly as serrated as what I usually see, but other sources on the internet indicate that even with narrow pinnate leaves, it might be Taraxacum.
Could also be Sonchus.

Auricles of the cauline leaves acute, spreading: Sonchus oleraceus.

Yes Sonchus oleraceous only


Hooghly : Sonchus oleraceus Linnaeus:

We have Bengali sayings :-
  • ফাঁকা কলসির আওয়াজ বেশি
  • শূন্য কলসি বগবগায়
  • পুঁটিমাছ অল্প জলে খলবল করে !
All of the above means “empty vessel sounds much” and i find myself quite fit to it!
For, i should have been satisfied with the ID of my earlier post, and this time it is again Sonchus oleraceus L.
But, with pentagonal stem? This site informs S. asper (L.) Hill has pentagonal stems !
An finally, found the doc which says Sonchus oleraceus L. also has pentagonal stem.
The stem in my plant is pentagonal in cross section, but the upper part is terete. I recorded these pictures on different dates, in a rail-stn. garden, the same place where i found the plant in my previous post. Last two pictures are photographed yesterday, showing that the flower closes (beginning to produce fruits?) in the afternoon.


Re: ID No. MS 100213 -108 — ID confirmation requested – Sow Thistle (Sonchus oleraceus):
Attached are the photos of a plant (taken at Sagarakatte, near Mysore on the dry beds of the back waters of K R Sagar Dam. This could be Sow Thistle (Sonchus oleraceus). ID confirmation or otherwise requested . Date 3.2.13.

I think yes

To me it appears S.oleraceus as identified.

I think a species of Sonchus

Asteraceae Fortnight Part-1- Sonchus oleraceus (NSJ-06- 04:05:2013) : Attachments (1). 3 posts by 3 authors.
Sonchus oleraceus (Mhatara in Marathi) from Satara

Herb ID request – RK115 – 05-Jul-2013 :  Attachments (5). 6 posts by 5 authors.
Requesting id of this small herb seen in Karjat. Not sure if the last two photos are of the flower or the fruit?

… the last two photos are of what is no more a flower, … rk_for-id_115_4.jpg shows perhaps – end of fruiting – seeds ready for dispersal – not sure if the individual fruit is called pappus … rk_for-id_115_5.jpg shows the dried calyx.
… OR other friends knowing Asteraceae would let us know.
Nice reading at Plantzaftrica

Sonchus oleraceous

Yes. It is a Sonchus oleraceous

Thank you so much … for the excellent link on the flower morphology. Thanks a lot … for the identification. Thanks also to …

Came across this herb at Village Bari (Base of Kalsubai).
Date/Time: 22-08-2010 / 11:10AM
Location: Village Bari (At the base of Kalsubai peak).

Habitat: Wild
Plant habit: Herb

Bot. name: Sonchus oleraceous



Asteraceae Fortnight Part 3-Ligulate Heads : 06072013MR01 which Sonchus spp is this from Pune for ID-MR01: Attachments (2).  3 posts by 2 authors.
Oct 2012
requesting identification of this Sonchus sp about 30 cm tall growing wild

Sonchus oleraceus L.


ASTERACEAE Fortnight Part 3-Ligulate Heads: Sonchus oleraceus from Uttarakhand_DSR_6 :  Attachments (3). 2 posts by 2 authors.
Sonchus oleraceus L. is a common spring weed in Pantnagar

Asteraceae Fortnight Part 3-Ligulate heads: Sonchus oleraceus (NSJ-03): Attachments (2). 1 post by 1 author.
Sonchus oleraceus from Satara.


Very good pics and correct ID too.


Asteraceae Fortnight Part 3-Ligulate heads (plus Misc.): Sonchus oleraceous from Delhi and Kashmir-GS-32 : Attachments (7). 2 posts by 2 authors.
Sonchus oleraceous, the commonest species lacking spiny leaf edges and leaf bases with triangular auricles. Photographed from Delhi and Kashmir.

Thank you Sir for your key notes and detailed upload of this species which is sometimes confusing with its allied S. asper. Pictures are beautifully taken from different angles.


Here is Sonchus oleraceus L. from Great Lakes Metra station, Illinois, US, taken on 10th July, 2013.

Sonchus oleraceus L. (Common Sowthistle)

Prickly Sowthistle (Sonchus asper) and Common Sowthistle (Sonchus oleraceus) have many similar features and are sometimes very confusing for identity. These two species can be distinguished from each other by the shape of the basal lobes of the leaves: the basal lobes of Prickly Sowthistle are well-rounded, while the basal lobes of Common Sowthistle are acutely angular.

Very good pictures!


Asteraceae Fortnight Part 3-Ligulate Heads: Sonchus oleraceous from Panipat-NS 24 : Attachments (7). 3 posts by 3 authors.
Perhaps this is rightly identified as Sonchus oleraceous  …this one was shot from Panipat.. please validate/ rectify

Thank you very much for this copybook uploads.


Asteraceae Fortnight Part 3-Ligulate Heads : Sonchus arvensis at Pune 07072013 : MR02 : Attachments (6). 1 post by 1 author.
Sep 2012
sharing pixs of Sonchus arvensis at Pune. I had posted this plant for Id at link

Sonchus oleraceus I hope

Thank you for the Id

Kindly help Id this wild plant ht about 2-2.5 feet,
leaves about 9 cm x 3.5 cm flower head 1.5 cm
white hairy fruit. Is this Sonchus arvensis?

The plant Id was validated by … as Sonchus arvensis at Indian Flora

Sonchus oleraceus Id courtsey … ref my post at link


Bangalore-Ooty November 2013 :: Requesting ID of this plant growing wild at Ooty :: 20122013 :: ARK-29 :  Attachments (2). 4 posts by 3 authors.
Requesting to please ID this plant captured growing wild in Ooty in November 2013.

A Sonchus sp. of Asteraceae.

Sonchus oleraceous I hope


Requesting ID of this plant – Lonavala – October 2013 :: 22012014 :: ARK-18 : Attachments (3). 4 posts by 3 authors.
Requesting to please ID this plant growing wild in a nursery in Lonavala, Maharashtra in October 2013.

Sonchus oleraceus

I too supporting …


ANAUG53 Please identify this Sonchus sp. : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (5).
Found in Bangalore
August 2014

Sonchus oleraceous I hope

Thank you sir.


New/ABMAR38 : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (3)
I found this on a stone retaining wall in town. Please help.
Mcleodganj, Dharamshala, HP
1750m approx.
31 March 2015

Though no flowers yet.
It should be Sonchus oleraceus (Asteraceae).

ID please-PC-01-03042015 : 3 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (7)
please identify the were. photos were taken outside of Jahapanah City Forest, Tuglakabad, Delhi.

pictures are all mixed up, … please separate them
wastes a lot of time
I looked at it every time i come to the group site… and have not seen a response yet from any Botanists
you have not had any response in 3 days or more
please submit succinct pictures
a lot of pictures is ok but must be from same plant or population

6432, 6450, 6458 looks Sonchus oleraceus (Asteraceae). 6459, 6460, 6461 are probably Solanum americanum (Solanaceae).

ID please-PC-04.04.2015 : 10 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (2)
Please identify the plant in picture taken near the boundary of Jahapanah City Forest, Delhi.

i can only think of a weird plant i had seen many years ago called rosinweed
googling for rosinweed gets me many  pictures but most are yellow petalled flowers and uniform petal sizes
this in not at its prime so color of petal is in question
but the raggedy look  implies may be the petals were not of equal size ..  may be then it may be silphium perfoliatum  which is again yellow petalled
but may be … should look at his case
may be there are similar plants in india that UI have no idea about

This can be Sonchus oleraceous..

i thought the basal leaf seems perfoliate
is that characterisctic of sonchus oleraceous?

Yes, on careful observation, I can also see perfoliate leaf, which is not a feature of Sonchus sp, now the case is open for further thoughts, may be any other angle from the same lens can show clarity, if available…

One more image if it helps for ID. Attachments (1)

Yes, better pictures in higher resolution needed. Else it is Sonchus oleraceus.

I do not have any more picture of the plant. When next I visit the area and the herb still be there definitely take few shots.. Thank you all.

well lets keep our fingers crossed and good luck …


Lactuca sp? ABAPR01/04 : 13 posts by 7 authors. Attachments (5)

I found this flowering in Dharamshala. Is this some prickly lettuce species? Please advise.
Mcleodganj, Dharamshala, HP
and Dharamshala, 1500m
31 March and 2 April 2015
This is from my earlier ABMAR38 message. I suspect these are the same.

Lactuca species in eFIoraofindia (with details/ keys from published papers/ regional floras/ FRLHT/ FOI/ efloras/ books etc., where ever available)

The plant uploaded seems to be Lactuca serriola

Looks more like Sonchus sp. to me… maybe Sonchus oleraceous…. but that’s a guess from what I found in Dalhousie… I haven’t gone through the keys…

Thank you … It may very well be a Sonchus. I am attaching another photo from a couple of days ago taken above Mcleodganj at 1800m. Attachments (1)

Looks like Sonchus oleraceous

Sonchus oleraceous

To me it is Sonchus oleraceus (Asteraceae).


Sonchus oleraceus L. (provisionally accepted name) ??? : 8 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (12)

Location: Bojepokhari, Lalitpur, Nepal
Altitude: 4200 ft.
Date: 28 January 2017

Pl. also check Sonchus asper (L.) Hill as per comparative images at Sonchus

Google and FoI images showing spiny and pointed leaves for Sonchus asper which look different in this case. But I am not sure.

Also check comparative images in efi

For me he ID by … is correct. Nevertheless, he has to check in detail the vegetative characters completely as there are eco variants.


Re: SK438 19MAR-2017:ID : 7 posts by 3 authors.
Location : Kathmandu, Nepal
Date : 3 March 2017
Altitude : 4400 ft.

Pl. check comparative images at Cichorieae

Pl. also check images at Taraxacum officinale Webb 

Sonchus oleraceus I hope.

Thank you … Sonchus oleraceus L. (accepted name)
Nepali Names : दुधे काँडा Dudhe Kaandaa  / छोटे झार Chhote Jhaar

22022018PP1 : 8 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (1)
Location:  Bombay Shola, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
Date: 20/01/18
Altitude: ~ 2100 m
Habit: Herb
Approx. height: 20 cm 
Leaves: Serrate
Approx. size of middle leaves: 7 cm
Flower diameter and length: 2.5 × 1 cm 
Habitat: Found amidst Chromolaena odorata near the roadside

Sonchus sp. and it is amidst Ageratina adenophora.

Oh. Thanks. I still confused between Ageratina and Chromolaena. Would you be able to identify the species if I give more close-ups?

The link I sent you in another thread will help you in this matter with photographic and text keys

Saw it … Thanks. I was still confused. I have studied it in more depth now. Will be easier to differentiate now. Here’s a close up of the leaf of Sonchus spp.,
Attachments (1)- 4 mb

Here’s a lateral view
Attachments (1)- 5 mb

I think close to images at Sonchus oleraceus (L.) L.

SK1305 20 JUL 2018 : 5 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (8)- around 400 kb each.
Location : Chandragiri Hills, Kathmandu, Nepal
Elevation : 8200 ft.
Date : 28 June 2018
Habit : Wild
Sonchus ?? Which one ?

You can decide based on keys and comparative images in efi site.

Pl. check comparative images at

Sonchus oleraceus L !

Weedy Herb for ID, Anuppur, Madhya Pradesh NAW-MAR19-07 : 7 posts by 3 authors.
Kindly identify this weedy herb upto 1 metre in height photographed on a farm in Anuppur district, Madhya Pradesh, in March 2019.

Pl. check comparative images at

Sonchus oleraceus?

Could it be Ixeris polycephala?

To me looks different from images at

Sonepat, Haryana, 4th April 09; smriti van Jaipur- 20.12.2008; 22-2-2010, 24-2-2010-  Vikas Puri, New Delhi; Village Bari (Base of Kalsubai): 22-08-2010; Balgarden, Srinagar on June 16, 2010;

Sonchus oleraceus from Kashmir – efloraofindia | Google Groups
Sonchus sp? 230810-PKA1 – efloraofindia | Google Groups
Sonchus oleraceous from Delhi – efloraofindia | Google Groups
Sonchus oleraceous from Delhi – efloraofindia | Google Groups
ID(ID-DKB161) – indiantreepix | Google Groups


200320 SD 02 : 5 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (2)
Kindly assist with Plant ID.
Location: Aravalli biodiversity park, Gurgaon

Could be Launaea intybacea,

Sonchus oleraceus..

Thanks, … I agree with you as per Sonchus oleraceus (L.) L. 



Asteraceae for ID SMP2 25/11/2010:
Another Asteraceae member for ID.

Date/Time- 20 Nov 2010
Location- Place, Altitude, GPS-  Roadside Pune
Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ Type- Wild
Plant Habit- Tree/ Shrub/ Climber/ Herb- herb
Height/Length- 2 feet  height
Leaves Type/ Shape/ Size-  Lower leaves lobed encircling stem. Alternate Crenate Serrate
Inflorescence Type/ Size-  As in picture
Flowers Size/ Colour/ Calyx/ Bracts- 1.5cm bright yellow.
Fruits Type/ Shape/ Size Seeds- Not observed

– This herb is more likely to be Sonchus oleraceus L. (Annual Sow-Thistle). The leaves in S. asper are glossy, with spiny margins.

Sonchus oleraceus L.  seems a perfect match.


Sonchus wightianus subsp. wallichianus (DC.) Boulos ??? : 7 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (9)
Location: Bojepokhari, Lalitpur, Nepal
Altitude: 4200 ft.
Date: 28 January 2017

Does it not look different from the images posted by you of the same species?

Does not seem to match with images at Sonchus wightianus DC.
You may check with images at Sonchus oleraceus (L.) L.

For me the ID by … is correct i.e. Sonchus oleraceus.

I am putting up once again due to my ignorance and to clarify.
I have posted Sonchus oleraceus L.
shot at same location which is completely different than this one. My assumption is leaves are completely different so it could be
Sonchus wightianus subsp. wallichianus (DC.) Boulos not only

Sonchus oleraceus L. ??
illustration  FoPI Bold Systems  illustration

Yes, appears to be what I initially suggested: Sonchus oleraceus

Enclosing Herbarium image from Nepal for ref.

Sonchus ¿ asper / oleraceus ?
Place, Altitude: Manali (about 1940 m asl)
Date, Time: 02 JUN 08, 07:59 am
Habitat: wild, in untended garden area of resort
Habit: herb, standing erect about 40 – 60 cm, cannot recollect size of flower-head.
Due to lack of view of basal leaves, ID to species level of this plant has become difficult.

efi pages  Sonchus oleraceus Sonchus asper with Keys.

S. oleraceous without any doubt


Sonchus for id 040211MK1:
Please help to id this Asteraceae member. I think this is a species of Sonchus. Is this S. arvensis?

Date/Time- 24-01-2011 / 10:40 AM

Location- Place, Altitude, GP ca.2200asl; Ooty, TN

Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ Type-  garden

Plant Habit- herb

Height/Length-  c 1 feet

Leaves Type/ Shape/ Size-  ca.8 x 3 cm; auricled

Inflorescence Type/ Size-  5 cm longer

Flowers Size/ Colour/ Calyx/ Bracts-  yellow; c. 3 cm across

Not arvensis for sure
Most probably S. asper (though often confused with S. oleraceous)

Looks like S. asper

Acute auricles, should be S. oleraceous


Request for id of Sonchus species.: 3 high resolution images.
Please check attached images of Sonchus species. It looks S.oleraceus to me.
captured at Srinagar Uttarakhand

Does look like Sonchus oleraceus



Another Sonchus for id: 2 high res. images.
Request for I’d of another Sonchus species from Bilaspur. Photographed in February, 2022.

Appears to be Sonchus oleraceous?


Yes it is surely S. oleraceous


Need ID – sonchus?:
Bhopal, black soil

Sonchus oleraceus L. ??

Pl Check for Sonchus oleraceus

To me also appears close to images at Sonchus oleraceus


Am posting photos of  what I believe is the herb Sonchus oleraceus which is very common in fields of Srinagar. The photos were taken in Nov-Dec 2022. Confirmation of I.D. is requested
It has a hollow stem which exudes milky latex when cut. The leaf base is clasping with pointed auricles. the upper part of stem has glandular hairs i.e. hairs with round glands at tip (See Photo)

Yes !

Yes S. oleraceous, nice upload.

Yes, as per images at


Sonchus oleraceus L.: 10 high res. images.

Location: Suryabinayak, Bhaktapur
Date: 09 January 2024 
Elevation: 1451 m.
Habit : Wild


Plant ID request: 2 high res. images.

Need help with this plant ID.

Sonchus oleraceus L. !



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