Annual herb from a short taproot; stems erect, solitary, few-branched above, glabrous, hollow, exuding milky juice when broken, 0.1-1 m tall.
Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves alternate, prickly- margined, lowermost with stalks but not so clearly divided (as in S. oleraceus) into blade and stalk, more or less egg-shaped, uppermost deeply pinnately cut to egg-shaped and lobeless with rounded, clasping flanges at the base, 6-30 cm long, 1-15 cm wide.
Heads with strap-shaped flowers, several on sometimes glandular stalks in an open, flat-topped inflorescence, relatively small, commonly 1.5-2.5 cm wide in flower; involucres 9-14 mm tall; involucral bracts lanceolate, tapering to a slender tip at the apex, glabrous except for some spreading, gland-tipped hairs; ray flowers yellow.
Achenes 2.5-3 mm long, with 3 or rarely 4-5 conspicuous longitudinal ribs on each face, not wrinkled; pappus of white hairlike bristles.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
|BG(6), CWH(66), IDF(4), PP(8)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Sonchus asper subsp. asper
Sonchus asper subsp. glaucescens (Jord.) J. Ball
Sonchus nymanii Tineo & Guss.