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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/20/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 6/20/2013)
Species Sonchus asper (L.) Hill
PlaceOfPublication Herb. Brit. 1: 47. 1769.
Synonym Sonchus oleraceus var. asper L., Sp. P1. 792. 1753.
Description Robust, short-lived perennial herb to 1 m tall; stems hollow; rootstock fibrous or stout, sometimes divided; sap milky. Leaves alternate, cauline, obovate, oblanceolate or spatulate, copiously spinulose-dentate, sometimes divided, apically acute, the basal portion often narrowed into a broadly winged, mostly dentate region, the basal auricles rounded and clasping the stem, glabrous, often bluish or slightly glaucous. Inflorescence an open, many-headed panicle; peduncle elongate or much abbreviated (Panama), sometimes with gland-tipped bristles; pedicels glabrous or with gland-tipped bristles, to 10 mm long; bracts leaflike but small. Heads 15-25 mm across, ligulate; involucre ca. 15 mm tall, the bracts lanceolate, in several similar, graded, overlapping series, glabrate or apically ciliolate, sometimes with a few subsessile glands; receptacle flat or convex, mamillose, naked; florets all ligulate, all perfect, all fertile, the corollas yellow, those of the outer series exceeding the involucral bracts, often reddish or grayish beneath, with 5 conspicuous obtuse teeth, the tube apically pilose, those of the inner series mostly shorter than the involucre, smaller, yellow with rounded teeth, the anthers with yellow or black appendages, basally sagittate, the style branches dark, narrow, dorsally puberulent, the shaft apically ascending-hispid, the ovary turning bright yellow or orange, the apical nectary cylindrical. Achene flat, lachrymiform, smooth or basally rugulose, each side with 2-4 distinct, low ridges ca. 3 mm long, reddish brown or sometimes a few tan colored; pappus strigulose, silky white, of numerous capillary hairs and fewer persistent bristles.
Habit herb
Note This species is known in Panama only in the Chiriqui uplands. Native of Europe, it is a widespread weed of temperate regions, and is established in some tropical areas. Similar to S. oleraceus, it grows in similar habitats. The leaves are usually less divided and more conspicuously dentate with longer, spinose mucros.
Native Europe
Common Prickly sow-thistle Cerraja
Specimen CHIRIQUI: Above Cerro Punta on slope of Cerro Respinga, 8000 ft, D'Arcy & D'Arcy 6527 (MO). Bajo Mona, mouth of Quebrada Chiquero along Rio Caldera, 1500-2000 m, Woodson et al. 1001 (MO).
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