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Sonchus Asper seed

Sonchus asper

‘Prickly Sow-thistle’

Asteraceae: an upright, hairless annual or biennial that grows to 1m, found on cultivated and waste land ground. The broken steam exudes a milky white sap. The flowers are 20mm across and bright yellow, appearing from June-October. The glossy green leaves are wavy, crinkly and have sharp margins. Widespread and common. Native to most of Europe, including Britain, south and east from Scandinavia to North Africa, North and West Asia.


The tender young leaves and stem tops can be eaten raw or cooked. They can be added to salads or used like spinach. The young leaves have a mild agreeable flavour. The stems should be bruised and the bitter-tasting milky juice washed out before eating or cooking them. The stems have been peeled and eaten raw like celery.

The plant is pounded and applied as a poultice to wounds and boils.


Surface sow seeds in spring or late summer in situ. Succeeds in most soils in a sunny position.


Sonchus Asper seed