Prickly Sow-thistle - Sonchus asper
Short to tall plant, hairless except for a few glandular hairs on the upper stem. Stem angled, often reddening, sometimes branched to 1.2 metres. The upper leaves are shiny green and prickly they clasp the stem with rounded basal lobes. Flowerheads golden yellow, 20 to 25 mm in lax clusters, bracts without glandular hairs.
Auricles of stem-leaves rounded. Achenes not rugose. Leaves can be very similar to S oleraceus but usually more sharply toothed
Photograph of stem and leaves, showing auricles
Cultivated and waste land, roadsides.
June to August.
Very common throughout Britain except in some parts of the Scottish Highlands.
Very common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 583 of the 617 tetrads.
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015