Common Sowthistle Plant Information
Common Sowthistle grows in the following 51 states:Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, District Of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Oregon, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington
The Latin name Sonchus refers to the hollow stem, while oleraceus refers to its good taste. The common name sow thistle refers to its attractiveness to swine, and the similarity of the leaf to younger thistle plants. The common name hare's thistle refers to its purported beneficial effects on hare and rabbits.Sonchus oleraceus is native to Europe and western Asia.Sonchus oleraceus, with many common names including common sowthistle,sow thistle,smooth sow thistle, annual sow thistle, hare's colwort, hare's thistle, milky tassel, milk thistle,soft thistle, or swinies, is a plant in the dandelion tribe within the daisy family.
This plant is annual herb with a hollow, upright stem of up to 30-100 cm high. Prefers full sun, and can tolerate most soil conditions. The flowers are hermaphroditic, and common pollinators include bees and flies. It spreads by seeds being carried by wind or water.
This plant is considered an invasive species in many parts of the world, where it is found mostly in disturbed areas. In Australia it is a common and widespread invasive species, with large infestations a serious problem in crops.
Leaves are eaten as salad greens or cooked like spinach. This is one of the species used in Chinese cuisine as kci (; lit. bitter vegetable). Blanching or boiling removes bitter flavour.
Nutritional analysis reveals 30 - 40mg of vitamin C per 100g, 1.2% protein, 0.3% fat, 2.4% carbohydrate. Leaf dry weight analysis per 100g (likely to vary with growing conditions) shows: 45g Carbohydrate, 28g protein, 22g ash, 5.9g fibre, 4.5g fat; in all, providing 265 calories.
Minerals Calcium: 1500mg Phosphorus: 500mg Iron: 45.6mg Magnesium: 0mg Sodium: 0mg Potassium: 0mg Zinc: 0mg;
Vitamins A: 35mg Thiamine (B1): 1.5mg Riboflavin (B2): 5mg Niacin: 5mg B6: 0mg C: 60mg
Sonchus oleraceus has a variety of uses in herbalism. It also has been ascribed medicinal qualities similar to dandelion and succory.
This plant can often be controlled by mowing, because it does not regrow from root fragments. Attempts at weed control by herbicide, to the neglect of other methods, may have led to proliferation of this species in some environments.
More inforamtion about Common Sowthistle.