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Montana Animal Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Spiny-leaf Sowthistle - Sonchus asper

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Exotic Species (not native to Montana)

Global Rank: GNR
State Rank: SNA

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 0

External Links

General Description
Taprooted annual. Stems erect, 25–90 cm tall, simple or branched. Leaves oblong to oblanceolate, pinnately toothed or lobed less than halfway to the midvein, 5–20 cm long, winged-petiolate below, auriculate-clasping above. Involucres 8–14 mm high; phyllaries glabrous. Ray ligules 3–5 mm long, inconspicuous. Achenes tan to red-brown, 2–3 mm long, smooth between the ribs (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Range Comments
Introduced from Eurasia; in nearly all of North America except the Canadian high arctic.

Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 8

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Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Disturbed soil of roadsides, pastures, lawns, streambanks; plains, valleys (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

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Citation for data on this website:
Spiny-leaf Sowthistle — Sonchus asper.  Montana Field Guide.  Montana Natural Heritage Program.  Retrieved on October 5, 2015, from
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