Perennial Sow-thistle - Sonchus arvensis

    Alternative names
    Corn Sow-thistle

    Medium to tall plant with far creeping stolons, stems erect to 1.5 metres, furrowed and bristly above. Upper leaves clasping the stem with rounded basal lobes. Flowerheads golden yellow, 40 to 50 mm in lax clusters. Flower bracts with sticky, yellowish glands.

    Similar Species

    Both Rough Sow-thistle and Smooth Sow-thistle are similar, but Perennial Sow-thistle has larger, more showy and deeper yellow flowers. Smooth Sow-thistle has pointed leaf auricles and Rough Sow-thistle has prickly leaves.

    Identification difficulty

    Cultivated and waste ground, river and stream margins, roadsides.

    When to see it

    July to October.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Very common throughout much of Britain, though scarcer in the north.

    VC55 Status

    Very common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 551 of the 617 tetrads.

    be our species champion

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map