Sonchus asper (L.) Hill 



Sonchus oleraceus (L.) L. – 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 
(Images by Gurcharan Singh & (Alka Khare – Id by Nidhan Singh), (For more photos & complete details, click on the links))

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Plants perennial, up to 2 m tall, leaves mostly entire or denticulate, not spiny margined, heads 3-5 cm across…………………..S. arvensis auct. non L. (now Sonchus wightianus DC.) 
Plant annual, up to 1.5 m tall; leaves pinnately divided, margins spinulose, heads 1.5-2.5 cm across…………………..S. asper

As per efi thread: Sonchus arvensis L. does not grow in India, and the species reported as such by Indian authors (auct. non L.) is Sonchus wightianus L. There are two subspecies in India subsp. wallichianus (DC) Boulos occurring in Bihar and Assam with glabrous stems and white tomentose heads and subsp. wightianus with glandular hairy stems and glandular hairy heads occurring throughout India.
Images by Gurcharan Singh (For more photos & complete details, click on the links)

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Binomial Habit Notes References Distribution
Sonchus
asper
(L.) Hill
Herb Western Ghats,
Cultivated, Native of Mediterranean Region
Flora of Tamil
Nadu, VOL. II, 1987
Nilgiri
Sonchus jainii Chandrabose, Chandrasekaran
& Nair
Herb Western
Ghats, Evergreen Forests, Grassy Slopes
Flora
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987
Coimbatore
Sonchus oleraceus L. Herb Western
Ghats & Eastern Ghats, Naturalized, Native of Mediterranean Region
Flora
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987
Coimbatore,
Dharmapuri, Dindigul, Namakkal, Nilgiri, Salem, Theni,  Tirunelveli, Tiruvannamalai, Vellore
Sonchus wightianus DC Herb Plains
to Low Altitude, Moist Localities
Flora
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987; Fischer 1921, Matthew 1983
Coimbatore, Dharmapuri, Dindigul, Salem, Theni,
Tiruchchirappalli

 

 
 

Botanical name Family Common name








Sonchus arvensis (not reported from India as per efi thread) Asteraceae Field Sow-Thistle
Sonchus asper Asteraceae Prickly Sow-Thistle
Sonchus oleraceus Asteraceae Sow Thistle

 
 
 
An Excursion Flora of Central Tamilnadu, India By K. M. Matthew (1995)- Details with keys
Sonchus wightianus (syn. S. arvensis auct. non L.)


 
Flora of Medak District, Andhra Pradesh, India By T. Pullaiah, Chintala Prabhakar, B. Ravi Prasad Rao (1998)- Details with keys

Sonchus wightianus (syn. S. arvensis auct. non L.)


 
Flora of Madhya Pradesh: Chhatarpur and Damoh By G. P. Roy, B. K. Shukla, Bhaskar Datt (1992)- Details with keys

Sonchus wightianus (syn. S. arvensis auct. non L.)


 
Flora of Davanagere District, Karnataka, India By B. K. Manjunatha, V. Krishna, T. Pullaiah (2004)- Details-
Sonchus wightianus (syn. S. arvensis auct. non L.)


 
Flora of Eastern Ghats: Hill Ranges of South East India, Volume 3 By T. Pullaiah, K. Sri Ramamurthy (2007)- Details with keys
Sonchus wightianus (syn. S. arvensis auct. non L.)


 
Flora of Eastern Karnataka, Volume 1 By N. P. Singh  (2007)- Details with keys

 
Fwd: Assistance on Sonchus : 2 post by 2 author.
Pl. see Sonchus.
Is Sonchus arvensis L. &  Sonchus maritimus L. found in India as reported by FRLHT & FOI.
Pl. confirm so that I can finalise this page.


1. Sonchus arvensis L. does not grow in India, and the species reported as such by Indian authors (auct. non L.) is Sonchus wightianus L. There are two subspecies in India subsp. wallichianus (DC) Boulos occurring in Bihar and Assam with glabrous stems and white tomentose heads and subsp. wightianus with glandular hairy stems and glandular hairy heads occurring throughout India. There is no mention of S. maritimus L. in Flora of India, probably because although it was reported in Flora of British India, It occurs in Peshawar and westwards, not in Indian boundaries.

2. Species described by Haines (Botany of Bihar and Orissa 2: 522, 1922) as S. arvensis L. var. glaber Haines differing from S. wightianus in glabrous stems, heads neither glandular nor tomentose and having simple hairs and oblong-oblanceolate achenes is now known as S. brachyotus DC. occurs in foothills of Himalayas ascending to 3500 m.
3. Both S. oleraceus and S. asper are widely distributed in India.
4. S. jainii Chandrabose et. al. in JBNHS 81: 149-151, 1984 is very distinct in basal leaves in spirals (not rosulate) and pappus heteromorphous. It occurs in Tamil Nadu on Grassy slopes of W. Ghats.
I think that should clarify. 


Thanks a lot, …


 
Keys as per efi thread :

1. Perennial herb from long rhizomes; fruit ± compressed, 3–4-angled, 2-ribbed between angles ….. S. arvensis

2. Peduncles and phyllaries stalked-glandular ….. [subsp. arvensis]]

2′ Peduncles and phyllaries generally sessile-glandular, rarely tomentose ….. subsp. uliginosus

1′ Annual from taproots; fruit weakly to strongly flattened

3. Stem slender; leaves deeply lobed, lobes toothed and often with smaller 2° lobes; fruit only slightly flattened, transversely roughened; ligule > corolla tube; uncommon ….. S. tenerrimus

3′ Stem stout; leaves toothed or with wide lobes; fruit flat, with thin edges, smooth or cross-roughened; ligule <= corolla tube; widespread and common

4. Proximal (clasping) lobes of leaves rounded, strongly curved to coiled; fruit 3-ribbed per side, otherwise smooth; ligule < corolla tube ….. S. asper subsp. asper

4′ Proximal (clasping) lobes of leaves acute; fruit 2–4-ribbed and cross-wrinkled; ligule ± = corolla tube ….. S. oleraceus 

 



Plants perennial, up to 2 m tall, leaves mostly entire or denticulate, not spiny margined, heads 3-5 cm across………………..S. arvensis auct. non L. (now Sonchus wightianus DC.)
Plant annual, up to 1.5 m tall; leaves pinnately divided, margins spinulose, heads 1.5-2.5 cm across…………………..
S. asper


 
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 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  1 post by 1 author.
I have updated eFI (efloraofindia) page on Sonchus
Thanks … for clarifying the matter as per thread.

Attempts have been made to incorporate most of the species available in India & nearby areas with details & keys directly or through links as far as possible. It’s quite possible that there may be some discrepancy in the accepted names & synonyms taken from other links.

Species discussed so far in efloraofindia are given at the bottom of the page in the form of links against Subpages. On clicking them one can see all the details.

Any comments/ corrections are welcome.


Pl. go through Sonchus page (‎‎‎Asteraceae (Compositae)) with images of species in efloraofindia (done by …).

If you find any mis-identification, pl. let us know.

If anybody can send images of other species of this genera (for incorporation in the website), it will be really nice. Also, if anybody is interested to take up the activity of inserting images on efloraofindia pages from efloraofindia posts, pl. let us know.



 

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