Perennial Sow Thistle

Sonchus arvensis

Summary 7

By Kim, Menaul School

Sonchus arvensis, the field milk thistle, field sowthistle, perennial sow-thistle, corn sow thistle, dindle, gutweed, swine thistle, or tree sow thistle, is a species of flowering plant in the daisy family Asteraceae. S. arvensis often occurs in annual crops in the northern parts of Europe and may cause substantial yield losses.

Botanical information 8

Vietnamese family names: Cuc, bo cong anh
Genus: Sonchus is an old Greek name means “hollow”. The species arvensis, means planted fields. The author name for the plant, “L.” refers to Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), Swedish botanist and the developer of the binomial nomenclature of modern taxonomy.
Alternate leaves arrangement, pinnately divided with 2 to 5 lobes with pointed tips, 2.5–16 inches. Leaves can grow from 10 to 35 cm long and are between 4 and 14 cm wide. It has a root system that grows up to 10 feet. The sow thistle can grow up to 1m high. They have heart-shaped, small rounded lobes, but are not united around the stem. All edges with small spines. The upper leaves are shorter and less divided or not divided at all. The leaf surfaces are green, hairless. Leaves also have white juice inside

Iconogical information 8

Habitat: Field Sow Thistle grows from reseeding and from its root system which has long rhizomes. It grows in many waste places, soils, moist to dry places, and needs sun light. Flowering time is usually during mid summer and then into Autumn. This plant will grow almost everywhere. It likes cracks in driveways, roadsides, fields, meadows, and gravel banks. The sow thistle was introduced to North America from Europe.
Field sow thistle grows everywhere so its a good source of food for wide life and animal and also cows, buffalos. They don’t need butterflies and bees because when its windy, the seed will fly all over and grows

Ethnobotanical information 8

Medical use: field sow thistles are used to bring on a tardy menstruation and to cures diarrhea. The latex in the sap is used in the treatment of warts. The stem juice is a powerful hydro gouge and cathartic, it should be used with great caution since it can cause colic and tenesmus.
The leaves, flowers and roots are edible but you have to eat them when they are young because the older they gets the bitter they are. The leaves are full of vitamin C and you can ground it to use like coffee

Vietnamese fairytale about the plant 8

Fairytale of field sow thistle: Many years ago, when nations were formed by their very first king. In a kingdom which were very strong, there was a king with his two sons. When his first son turnt 14, the king ask him “What is the most important thing with a man?”. “As a boy, we should learn and practice. As a man, we should practice and keep our personality.” The son answered. After that the son decided to explore the world as his father wanted. Year by year, he had been to lots of nations and listened to their stories to see how the king rule their nation. He never stopped learning and exploring until one day, the old age prevented him from continue. He told his family to bury him on a big field in his homeland because no matter how far he had gone, he wanted to come back home with his family. Then, on his tomb, there is a yellow flower plant grew up. People said the petal represent lion which is the dead king. The seed with many white fur will spread out when there’s wind which is the king wishes to travel around the world

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Frank Mayfield, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  2. (c) cassi saari, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  3. (c) cassi saari, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  4. (c) cassi saari, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  5. (c) Paul Braun, some rights reserved (CC BY),
  6. (c) Paul Braun, some rights reserved (CC BY),
  7. Adapted by smiller33 from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  8. (c) kimthiennguyen, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

More Info

iNat Map

Seed white fur
Flower yellow