E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Lapsana communis L.
nipplewort (common nipplewort)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Brian Klinkenberg  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #88870)

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Distribution of Lapsana communis
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a fibrous root; stems erect, branched above, solitary, exuding milky juice when broken, 0.3-1.5 m tall.
Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves alternate, toothed or occasionally basally lobed, egg-shaped to almost round or rounded, thin, lower ones stalked, upper ones more or less unstalked, toothed, 2.5-10 cm long, 2-7 cm wide.
Heads with strap-shaped flowers, several to many in an elongate to rounded inflorescence; involucres 4-8 mm tall; involucral bracts linear-lanceolate, the mostly 8 bracts evidently keeled at least toward the base; ray flowers yellow, usually about 13.Fruits; Achenes nerved, oblong, curved, tips rounded, 3-5 mm long, glabrous; pappus lacking.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry roadsides, fields and waste places in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common in S BC, especially on S Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lapsana communis

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 24 73 122
Slope Gradient (%) 27 27 27
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 5 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CDF(4)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool temperate & cool mesothermal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References