GROWTH HABIT: Widely distributed in North America, and considered noxious in many states and provinces. Common in gardens, cultivated crops, ditchbanks, and fertile waste areas where adequate water is available.
LEAVES: Leaves have a clasping base and mildly prickly margins which vary from deeply toothed to nearly entire. Upper leaves are fewer and much smaller than the basal ones.
STEMS: Plants are usually 2 to 4 feet tall, succulent, and exude a milky juice when injured.
FLOWER: The flower head is 1 to 2 inches wide, and rich yellow in color. Numerous gland-tipped hairs on involucre bracts and flower stalks help distinguish this species.
ROOTS: Spreads from horizontal rhizome-like roots.
SEEDS: Seeds are dark brown, prominently ridged and wrinkled, with a tuft of soft white pappus bristles.
OTHER: Perennial sowthistle is a native of Europe or Eurasia. Marsh sowthistle is a similar perennial; the most important difference being a lack of gland-tipped hairs.