Asteraceae (Sunflower family)

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.

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