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Useful Tropical Plants

Sonchus asper

(L.) Hill

Asteraceae

+ Synonyms

Sonchus aemulus Merino

Sonchus australis Hort. ex Colla

Sonchus borderi Gand.

Sonchus carolinianus Walter

Sonchus crocifolius Hort. ex Sch.Bip.

Sonchus cuspidatus Blume

Sonchus decipiens (De Not.) Zenari

Sonchus eryngiifolius Sosn.

Sonchus eryngiifolius Sosn. ex Grossh.

Sonchus eryngioides DC.

Sonchus fallax Wallr.

Sonchus ferox Wall.

Sonchus giganteus Shuttlew. ex Rouy

Sonchus glaber Thunb.

Sonchus glaucescens Jord.

Sonchus graecus Reut. ex E.Weiss

Sonchus infestus Poepp. ex DC.

Sonchus kralikii Rouy

Sonchus nymanii Tineo & Guss.

Sonchus oleraceus Wall.

Sonchus spinosus Lam.

Sonchus spinulosus Bigelow

Sonchus sulphurous Boiss.

Sonchus tibesticus Quézel

Sonchus umbellatus E.Mey. ex DC.

Sonchus viridis Zenari

Common Name: Prickly Sow Thistle

Sonchus asper
Flowering plant
Photograph by: Fagg, M.
Image credit to Australian National Botanic Gardens
Sonchus asper Sonchus asper Sonchus asper Sonchus asper Sonchus asper Sonchus asper

General Information

Sonchus asper is an erect, annual plant, occasionally becoming biennial; it can grow 100 - 150cm tall. The stem can be simple or branched[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine. It is sometimes cultivated locally as a food plant in New Zealand[
153
Title
Economic Native Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Brooker. S. G., Cambie. R. C. and Cooper. R. C.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1991
ISBN
0-19-558229-2
Description
An interesting and readable book on the useful plants of New Zealand.
,
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.

Range

Originally native to Europe, N. Africa and W. Asia, the plant has spread with human activity to most temperate regions

Habitat

Cultivated soil and waste places[
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
]. A weed of cultivated fields, it is also found in grassland, along lakeshores and on mud, at elevations from 750 - 2,550 metres[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitAnnual
Height0.50 m
PollinatorsBees, Hoverflies
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Succeeds in most soils in a sunny position. Dislikes dry conditions[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
]. Tolerant of saline soils[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].
Sonchus asper is a weed of cultivated land and waste places. It has spread through human activity to most of the temperate zone and is even found in the tropics. One report says that although it is a weed, it is generally not considered noxious in agriculture and horticulture[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Another report says that it has been declared a noxious weed in several countries[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].

Edible Uses

Tender young leaves and stem tops - raw or cooked[
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
,
144
Title
Wild Food in Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. A. B. and J. W.
Publisher
Fontana
Year
1976
ISBN
0-00-634436-4
Description
A very good pocket guide.
,
153
Title
Economic Native Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Brooker. S. G., Cambie. R. C. and Cooper. R. C.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1991
ISBN
0-19-558229-2
Description
An interesting and readable book on the useful plants of New Zealand.
,
161
Title
Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237.
Publication
 
Author
Yanovsky. E.
Publisher
U.S. Depf of Agriculture.
Year
 
ISBN
-
Description
A comprehensive but very terse guide. Not for the casual reader.
,
272
Title
Plants and People of Nepal
Publication
 
Author
Manandhar. N. P.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
2002
ISBN
0-88192-527-6
Description
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.
,
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. They can be added to salads or used like spinach[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. The young leaves have a mild agreeable flavour[
217
Title
Les Salades Sauvages
Publication
 
Author
Les Ecologistes de l'Euzière
Publisher
Not given.
Year
1994
ISBN
2-906128-04-X
Description
A lovely little book about some wild salads in France. Written in French.
]. The stems should be bruised and the bitter-tasting milky juice washed out before eating or cooking them[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
].

The stems have been peeled and eaten raw like celery[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

Medicinal

The plant is pounded and applied as a poultice to wounds and boils[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
,
272
Title
Plants and People of Nepal
Publication
 
Author
Manandhar. N. P.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
2002
ISBN
0-88192-527-6
Description
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.
].

The latex in the plant has been used as a treatment on warts[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Sesquiterpene lactones, especially of the eudesmanolide type, have been isolated from both roots and aerial parts; several of these are known to be effective against Plasmodium falciparum, fungi and inflammations[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Other Uses

The entire plant contains a sticky white latex[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].

Propagation

Seed - sow spring or late summer in situ.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-08-18. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Sonchus+asper>

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