Sonchus asper (L.) Hill
subsp. asper

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Sonchus asper subsp. asper

Photo: Bart Wursten
Greystone Park Nature Reserve

Sonchus asper subsp. asper

Photo: Bart Wursten
Greystone Park Nature Reserve

Sonchus asper subsp. asper

Photo: Bart Wursten
Greystone Park Nature Reserve

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Sonchus gigas Humbert
Sonchus oleraceus L. var. asper L.
Common names: Prickly sow-thistle (English)
Status: Native
Robust, erect annual or perennial herb, 20-200 cm tall. Stems solitary, branching near the inflorescence, hollow, ribbed to angular, mostly hairless, sometimes glandular hairy above. Leaves with basal lobes conspicuously clasping the stem, more or less oblanceolate in outline, hairless, more or less glaucous; margins with irregular, sometimes lobe-like, spine-tipped teeth. Capitula stalked, forming corymbose clusters. Involucre often swollen at the base. Florets numerous, yellow, with rays up to 4 mm long.
Derivation of specific name: asper: rough
Habitat: Occurring in moist or swampy soil near margins of dams, lakes, pans and rivers or as a weed of cultivation.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in Africa, Eurasia and Madagascar
Zimbabwe distribution: N,C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Tuesday 18 January 2011

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 28. Also as Sonchus gigas

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 40. (Includes a picture).

Pope, G.V. (1992). Compositae Flora Zambesiaca 6(1) Pages 225 - 229. As Sonchus asper (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 38.

Other sources of information about Sonchus asper subsp. asper:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Sonchus asper subsp. asper
Flora of Mozambique: Sonchus asper subsp. asper
Flora of Zambia: Sonchus asper subsp. asper

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Sonchus asper
African Plant Database: Sonchus asper
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Sonchus asper
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Sonchus asper
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Sonchus asper
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Sonchus asper
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Sonchus asper
JSTOR Plant Science: Sonchus asper
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Sonchus asper
Plants of the World Online: Sonchus asper
Tropicos: Sonchus asper
Wikipedia: Sonchus asper

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Sonchus asper subsp. asper., retrieved 12 June 2024

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