Threshold/Yield Loss. 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.It is native to Europe and western Asia.. Its specific epithet oleraceus means "vegetable/herbal". Determine whether you have perennial or annual sow thistle in your yard. Perennial weeds grow from root stalks year after year. Annuals vs. perennials. The Southwestern ers are a different color. Smooth Sow-thistle has pointed leaf auricles and Rough Sow-thistle has prickly leaves. This field guide serves as the U.S. Forest Service’s recommendations for management of annual and biennial invasive thistles in forests, woodlands, and rangelands associated with its Southwestern Region. Perennial sow thistle typically occurs in patches. thistle and bull thistle have been listed as noxious weeds only in New Mexico. Although grazing animals (and butterflies) actually prefer the Sonchus to grass farmers rant about the plant because it’s a weed amongst their crop. Classification: Noxious Weed. Effects On Crop Quality. Scot’s thistle (Onopordum acanthium) Not known to exist in Clackamas County; Biennial (sometimes annual or short-lived perennial) The whole plant is very branched, strongly spiny, with a bluish gray appearance; The stem is woody and very spiny-winged (flat leaf projections extend down stem) Flower heads are purple and 1-3 inches wide https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/perennial-sowthistle Light infestations of perennial sow thistle cause yield losses in field … Common sow thistle is in the Compositae (Asteraceae) family. Recognizable features: Perennial weeds spread by seeds and roots, and therefore the entire plant must be destroyed. An annual plant grows for one season and then it’s done. The leaves are also great to use as an antioxidant. Examine the leaves of the plant: perennial sow thistle leaves are alternate and have toothed margins, while annual sow thistle leaves fully clasp the main stem, with either rounded or flat spiny lobes. Native to west-ern Asia and Europe and was probably intro-duced as a seed contaminant. A perennial plant grows for more than one season. Green matter in grain can increase drying costs and dockage. Annual sow thistle is very similar but reproduces only by seed and its flowers are smaller. Some perennials are considered “tender perennials’ and won’t survive a cold winter; those are the vegetables most of us plant fresh each year, treating them as an annual. As for the sow thistle’s botanical name: Sonchus is the ancient Greek name for the plant and means “hollow” referring to the plant’s hollow stem, a point of identification. 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