Smooth Sow-thistle - Sonchus oleraceus


Short to tall greyish plant. Upper leaves clasp the stem with triangular, leaves with pointed basal lobes. Flowerheads pale yellow 20 to 25 mm, borne in lax clusters.

Similar Species

It can be very similar to Prickly Sow-thistle with which it hybridises.

Photo ID?

Bare and waste ground, roadsides. A weed of cultivation.

When to see it

May to November.

Life History


UK Status

Very common throughout Britain except for parts of the Scottish Highlands.

VC55 Status

Very common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 530 of the 617 tetrads.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map