Common names: Sow Thistle
Description: Erect herb growing to 1 m tall, from deep taproot. Stems are blabrous, purplish, glaucous and have a milky sap. Tend to be single but may have multiple from base, branching, and ribbed.
Flowers: Terminal cluster inflorescence. Subtended by foliage and long, glabrous peduncles. Ray flowers reach 2.7 cm and are bright yellow in color. Seeds are flat achenes, ovoid in shape with 9mm long, white, feathery pappus.
Leaves: Alternate and sessile with spiny margins. Deep, shiny green above, glaucous below. Upper leaves are reduced and become a lanceolate shape, while lower leaves are more of a spatulate shape.
Reproduction: By seed, wind dispersal.
Flowering: May through October.
Habitat and Ecology: Native to Europe.