Sonchus wightianus

Sonchus wightianus DC., 187 1838. (Syn: Sonchus picris H.Lév. & Vaniot; Sonchus wightianus subsp. wightianus ; Sonchus lingianus C. Shih; S. picris H. Léveillé & Vaniot; S. wallichianus Candolle; S. wightianus subsp. wallichianus (Candolle) Boulos; Sonchus arvensis auct. non L.; Hook. f. Flora Br. Ind. 3: 414. 1881, p.p.);

Plants perennial, up to 2 m tall, leaves mostly entire or denticulate, not spiny margined, heads 3-5 cm across.......................S. arvensis auct. non L. (now Sonchus wightianus DC.) 
Plant annual, up to 1.5 m tall; leaves pinnately divided, margins spinulose, heads 1.5-2.5 cm across.......................S. asper
Taraxacum does have an leafy branched stem. There is a single head on scape.

Perennials, 90-120 cm high. Leaves to 22 x 5 cm, oblanceolate, obtuse or acute at apex, narrowed to the base, amplexicaule, minutely spinulose-serrate along the margins, glaucous below. Heads 18 x 12 mm, in terminal panicled cymes; peduncles glandular-hairy; bracts 12 x 1.5 mm, 3-5 series, oblong, acute. Female corolla 15 mm long, glabrous; limb yellow, 5-lobed; anthers bases shortly tailed. Achenes 3 x 1 mm, minutely rugulose; pappus 10 mm long.       
Flowering and fruiting: Throughout the year 
Shola forests     
Indo-Malesia and China
Plains to Low Altitude, Moist Localities
ID-Sonchus: Is it Sonchus arvensis? Please confirm or ID this plant
According to me this is Sonchus wightianus DC.
Sonchus wightianus DC. ssp. wightianus is a common species in Pantnagar.
It blooms profusely in spring but sporadic flower heads can be seen throughout the year.
Taraxacum species for confirmation 290412MK01: Please help to identify this herb. Is this Taraxacum officinale? the peduncle is longer (2.5 feet) here. The head inflorescence measures c. 5cm across.
Location: Ooty town, Nilgiris
Date: 14 Sep 2011
Altitude: 2100 m ASL
Taraxacum does have an leafy branched stem. There is a single head on scape.
This one appears Sonchus arvensis to me.
Hope it will help you to compare, specially the fourth image of the leaves.
VOF Week: Asteraceae sp at Joshimath: ID requested for this Asteraceae sp.
Location: Near Joshimath.

Sonchus arvensis

Sonchus arvensis
Location: Near Joshimath.
Common in Northern plains and now reaching to high hills of Himalaya.
Flowers heads are yet to open.
Wild plant growing on a roof top. The shoots are about 1.5 to 2 feet in height. Sorry the pictures are not clear as it is a distant shot. is this Emilia sonchifolia? Please ignore the Neem trees in the background
I request you to validate
More likely to be Sonchus arvensis...though not very clear...
VOF Week: Sonchus oleraceous from the trek:
This composite was shot from near Gobind Ghat while going up to Ghanghariya...hope I am correct in identifying this as Sonchus oleraceous...
Clearly Sonchus arvensis
Head size and texture of leaves is distinctive.
Thanks for correction sir...I think I should critically examine all the identified/unidentified pics of Sonchus with always confuses me....
Hooghly Today : Sonchus riddle: I hope this is Sonchus arvensis Linnaeus (বন-পালং), as in my earlier post at -
It's an experience to look back into history :-

Sonchus arvensis without any doubt.
It was the information found in FoC page of Sonchus wightianus Candolle that created confusion to me. According to FoC, "Sonchus wightianus has frequently been misidentified with the habitually similar Sonchus arvensis, and the later is a hybrid, restricted to Europe & North America ......"
Thank you very much for the ID and confirming one more time.
No ... I have to thank you for highlighting information in Flora of China. I will check my specimens with the key and find out. In the mean time you may also do the same for your above specimens.
And here is the article by Kim et al. 2007.
Attaching three photos of achene, recorded today.
FoC informs - "The diploid S. wightianus has adaxially often reddish marginal florets....".... a point in favour of S. wightianus
But points against S. wightianus, as described in FoC, are :-
1, Flower and fruit from January to October... -- i am watching this plant since last year, it starts growing in October-November and starts flowering at the end of November. Rest of the year the plant is unnoticeable.
2. Middle and upper stem leaves elliptic to lanceolate, smaller -- but, in my species except for the top most leaves all leaves are equal and sometimes middle leaves bigger.
3. Achene...... with 1(or 2) weakly prominent main rib(s) and several secondary ribs on either face -- in my species all ribs are prominent
4. Pappus 6-9 mm -- the first picture (8799.jpg), attached herewith & though not scaled, clearly shows longer pappus as in S. arvensis described in FoA. I come to this conclusion by comparing the achene size with the pappus size (at least 3 times that of an achene).
Here is the protologue of Sonchus wightianus..
I was reading some of your mails above. Indeed you jumped deep into it and this is really nice of you to have so much of patience.
There is one issue here I think Many of the characters you are talking about are so variable that they cant be trusted to define a species based on morphology.
According to the protologue if you can see, both species are written as PERENNIAL.
Leaves in both are heteromorphic and hence there is no distinct shape and size, unless and untill one it toooooo long or tooooo short. Even the margin shape is not consistent.
The prominence of ribs of achenes also depends on how dry the seeds are.
Pappus is 6-9mm in one and 8-14mm in another, so this is slightly overlapping too.
I am forwarding this to ... also. May be she can dig something out of it.
Is it Sonchus arvensis? Or is it also an eye-opener?

I think peduncles and phyllaries are stipitate glandular (is that what it is called?).
If yes it should be Sonchus arvensis L. ssp. arvensis.
Attaching account of all Sonchus species of India in Flora of India vol-5 (Asteraceae) by Botanical Survey of India. Hope it will be useful for identification of Sonchus in your area.
Thank you very much Rawat Sir.
The attached files inform me that there is no S. arvensis L. in India.
Instead it will be S. arvensis auct. non L. (S. wightianus DC.); and this very much echoes FoC. In that case it will be S. wightianus ssp. wightianus.
However, this plant is -
  1. S.orixensis Roxb. in FI.iii.402
  2. S. arvensis L. in FBI.iii.414
  3. S. arvensis L. in Bengal Plants.i.629
  4. S. arvensis L. in The Botany of Bihar and Orissa
  5. links of all above -
Thank you once again
The problem is resolved.
There is no S. arvensis L. in India.
Thanks, ..., That means we should move efi page Sonchus arvensis to S. wightianus DC.
Yes, ..., as per BSI docs S. wightianus DC. is the safest option.
Same applies to remaining two threads relating to this plant.
Compositae ID 09022012 SK Hooghly(WB): (11 pictures)
While I was on my way to school yesterday I found this wild herb on the roadside inside a village. Within a 50 mt. span there were about 10 to 12 of them.
A search in the net gave me a post by ... at - ....where ... suggested "Crepis foetida" for the species posted by ...
Could it be that "Crepis foetida" from Compositae family?
May be Sonchus also
I am getting more confused with Sonchus, Crepis and Taraxacum. But, it appears to me now that it is closer to Sonchus sp. as ... and ... suggested.
Sonchus arvense for sure
I wanted to confirm if all the photographs are of the same plant or two different plants as the first three plant photos seem to have a different habit and resemble Sonchus wightianus DC. while the rest of them are S. arvense as ... has mentioned.
After returning home when I checked those photographs (before posting) I too was confused, thinking that I have shot two different species of Sonchus. I examined the original photos thoroughly and concluded that all were same. However, again I will visit the place tomorrow and watch the plant more carefully. Certainly will inform you if I find any discrepancies out there.
I checked the plant this morning once again and confirm that all images are from same species, but not from the same individual plant.
I noticed 3 types of leaf blades and two types of buds.
The Bengali name given to Sonchus arvensis is 'BAN PALANG' (Plant Groups by H Mukherji). A website also refers it -
I attach here pictures (4) of the seeds from the same plant, "Sonchus arvensis" that i shot yesterday.

This set was previously uploaded -

Awaiting feedback from other thread:!msg/indiantreepix/5fLT3jku9Cc/uCGaVk-ZgFUJ
There is no S. arvensis L. in India.
Thanks, ..., That means we should move efi page Sonchus arvensis to S. wightianus DC.

Very interesting -
  1. Sonchus wightianus DC. -
  2. Sonchus arvensis L. -
No.2 above seems to be wrong, because of other illustrations -
Two more -
That means we should move efi page Sonchus arvensis to S. wightianus DC.

Images by Gurcharan Singh (For more photos & complete details, click on the links)
Asteraceae Fortnight Part 3-Ligulate heads (plus Misc.): Sonchus arvensis from Delhi-GS-30 : Attachments (4).
1 post by 1 author.
Sonchus arvensis, a very distinctive taller species with leaves mostly basal resembling more with Launaea than other species of Sonchus and with larger nearly 3-4 cm across heads almost orange in colour.
Photograhed from Delhi. 

This milky, erect herb was shot from Dalhousie.. can this be Sonchus arvensis... perhaps ... can throw light on the matter..
efi page  Sonchus wightianus  (Syn: S. arvensis auct. non L.; Hook. f. Flora Br. Ind. 3: 414. 1881, p.p.)                                  
I take this opportunity to correct myself - in my post i have written that there is no Sonchus arvensis L. in India (as per BSI). I was wrong. There is one -
  • Sonchus brachyotus DC = syn. S. arvensis L. var. glaber. (there is a special note in FoC) This plant is not S. brachyotus, because it has glandular head (BSI docs).
S. oleraceous L. has acute auricles (BSI)
S. asper (L.) Hill. - 1) peduncle can have glandular hairs (BSI) 2) capitula also can feature glandular hairs (FoC). But leaves are different -
S. jainii Chandrabose et al. - is confined to W. Ghat & Tamilnadu (BSI)
So, we are left only with S. arvensis. Ii is non L. as per BSI & FoC. It was L. as per old classics. In volume 2 of "Botany of Bihar and Orissa" (H. H. Haines; p497) S. arvensis has leaves glaucous beneath, amplexicaul base with rounded auricles. Two varieties - 1) glandular heads - var. typica 2) egkandular - var. glaber.
If we wish to follow BSI or FoC, since they are latest, then this plant is i think Sonchus wightianus DC. ssp. wightianus.
But, unlike BSI descriptions the plants in my posts had glabrous stems which is a feature of ssp. wallichianus !
This Sonchus was shot from Shimla.. again my id search revolves around S. arvensis / S. wightianus...  
I also think this is Sonchus wightianus DC. ssp. wightianus.
Sonchus arvensis L. from Assam KD 08 Dec : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (13)
Attached images may be Sonchus arvensis L. Please validate. 
Date :18.12.2014
Location: Assam
Family : Asteraceae
Genus & species : Sonchus arvensis L.
Habitat: Grows wild on open filed
Habit : Herb
Attached images are fruits and their dispersal of same specimen of Sonchus arvensis L (?).
Attachments (7)
Sonchus species in eFloraofindia (with details/ keys from published papers/ regional floras/ FRLHT/ FOI/ Biotik/ efloras/ books etc., where ever available) 
Sonchus arvensis L. is not reported from India as per efi thread 
Yes, as per efi thread.
Also the thread had a discussion

Images by Balkar Singh, (For more photos & complete details, click on the link)
Vof Week: Sonchus arvensis f. brachyotus (DC) Krip grom Govindghat ghangriya Trek:
Sonchus arvensis f. brachyotus (DC) Krip from Govindghat ghangriya Trek
pls validate
Yes ... A typical specimen. Thanks for uploading very good photographs.
To me appears similar to other images at Sonchus wightianus DC.,%20bud%20DSC02368.jpg?part=0.3&view=1&vt=ANaJVrGz6aT9YutnGRST2GJ-Z47NPhOF9m4TKyDK2HEmv68-gHaIaWjoWM6RwK5ZrFVAdm_sTRWApgSN69Y7DWhgVDJKNUyFOPbf1vV60bmyBAkegu4q8fY
Emilia coccinea (Sims.) G.Don for confirmation : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (4)
18-10-2017 Lonavala region
Basis for id:
1. Plant had both radical & cauline leaves. Upper cauline leaves smaller than basal ones.
2. Heads large, pubescence +, hispid
3. Stout, shrub-like, 1.5-1.7m tall
4. leaves: basally auriculate and amplexical.
5. Achene: 4-5mm, ribbed
P.S.: The un id species of ... from Meghalaya in the group website could possibly be Emilia coccinea.
I think Sonchus wightianus DC.  as per images herein.
SK947 12JAN-2018 : 5 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (8)
Location: Raniban, Balaju, Nepal
Altitude:  4900 ft.
Date: 10 August 2016
Sonchus wightianus DC.  ??

I think yes as per images at Sonchus wightianus DC.
Flora picture of the Year 2014- Karuna Kanta Das : 8 posts by 6 authors. Attachments (2) 
My flora picture of the year 2014 is dispersal of fruits of Sonchus arvensis L. To capture these images of this species I had to wait for many days and at last I got the images.
you got them very nicely
Oh! Wonderful patience!!!!.jpg?part=0.1&view=1&vt=ANaJVrHNaz16Fi0KbEH_J5lwZGdohScklRnNXXkVaI6DyYT4AGebnB2fbh7Hob7PbCjTDOO49JBQQ23lFTDiEB7THdvh22JgDfj1QPORRXozG4wuGp_aUpE
Talegaon Dabhade Pune
Dec 2015
Requesting to Id this wild plant with purple pink midrib. Is this Blumea species? 
not in focus, esp number two
was able to see open flowers. attaching some more picx

Blumea species in eFloraofindia (with details/ keys from published papers/ regional floras/ FRLHT/ FOI/ Biotik/ efloras/ books etc., where ever available on net) 

Can this be Sonchus wightianus? it matches with images at eFi page of Sonchus wightianus. ref 
Sorry forgot to add the url
The url for Sonchus wightianus is 
I think you are right in thinking it as Sonchus wightianus as seems to be matching with the images herein.
Many thanks for validating.
Sonchus oleraceus? ABAUG2016/60 : 10 posts by 5 authors. 4 images.
This tall sow thistle is very common these days. The upper leaves are narrow while the lower ones are lobed and large. Could this be S. oleraceus? Please advise.
Sonchus oleraceusSow Thistle
Mcleodganj, HP 1750m 19 July 2016
Appears close to images at Sonchus oleraceus (L.) L. 
For me it looks ID by ... is correct.
Thank you ... I now doubt my guess as I had overlooked the fact that this plant had hairy upper stems and glandular calyx, clearly visible in this photo I am including here. My apologies to you and ... for not editing and filing this photo for better analysis earlier
It now looks closer to Sonchus brachyotus
1 image.

In S. brachyotes peduncles and phyllaries are mostly glabrous, rarely white tomentose apically. Here glandular hairs are seen suggesting S. wightianus.
Please also check phyllaries (outer 1.5-3 mm wide in S. brachyotes, 1-1.5 mm in S. wightianus), pappus (10-12 mm long in S. brachyotes, 6-9 mm in S. wightianus) for final decision..
Thank you ... I will check these details and report back
These keys for Sonchus (below URL) will help:
They are partly explained on the thread already.

Efi page on Sonchus wightianus with images
New plant to me. Nice analysis as well.
Sonchus wightianus DC. (provisionally accepted name) ??? : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (6)
Location: Chalnakhel , Nepal
Altitude:  6500 ft.
Date: 12 November 2016
Sonchus wightianus DC. (provisionally accepted name)  ??
Nepali Names: दुधे / मुलापाते 
Thanks, ... To me also it appears close to images at Sonchus wightianus DC. 
Nepali Names: दुधे Dudhe / मुलापाते  Mulaapaate 
Yes …
Sonchus wightianus DC. (provisionally accepted name) ?? : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (13)
Location: Suryabinayak, Bhaktapur, Nepal
Altitude:  5000 ft.
Date: 14 January 2017

Appears closer to Sonchus wightianus DC.  as per comparative images at Sonchus
Thank you ... Nepali names : दुधे Dudhe / मूलापाते Moolaapaate / बन रायो Ban Raayo
Asteraceae For ID : Bangalore : 05FEB17 : AK-5 : 7 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1)
Asteraceae growing wild seen on 9th Jan,17.
Any leaves? 
Not for this plant. 
Adding pics of a similar one seen close by. Attachments (3)
Pl. check comparative images at Sonchus ‎& Cichorieae (if not matching with Sonchus
Looks closer to Sonchus wightianus DC.  as per comparative images at Sonchus
Sonchus wightianus DC. (accepted name) ?? : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (8)
Location: Soureni, Mirik, India
Date: 21 April 2017
Altitude: 4200 ft. 
To me also appear close to images at Sonchus wightianus
SK506 05 MAY-2017:ID : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (6)
Location: Soureni, Mirik, India
Date: 21 April 2017
Altitude: 4200 ft. 

Sonchus sp. Asteraceae.
Pl compare with Sonchus spp. in eFI.
Thanks, ..., for the initial Id. May be closer to images at Sonchus wightianus DC. 
Thank you.
Sonchus oleraceus----for sharing and validation : 9 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (1)
Photo taken at Aambyvalley Rd., Off Lonavala, Pune in Jan.17.

I think leaves are required to confirm the species as flowers look similar in many species.  

i am attaching another photo which to me confirms the identification.
Attachments (1)

Pl. check at

January 12, 9 a m- Herbal Garden Garden, Rajouri Garden, Delhi; Sonepat, Haryana, 4th April 09; 21/3/10 at 17.16 hrs- At Tollygunj Golf Club, Kolkata; 17 May 2010: Chandagal Village, Mysore district;Sonchus arvensis from Delhi - efloraofindia | Google Groups(100409SCS1-2) Sonchus species - wild plant from Haryana - efloraofindia | Google GroupsHerb for Id 270310jm1 - efloraofindia | Google GroupsIdrequest - 24Jun10AR01 - efloraofindia | Google Groups
Asteracea id From Bangladesh : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (1)
Sonchus wightianus DC.
Wild Plant for ID : Bangalore : 04AUG20 : AK-03 : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2)
Wild plant seen in Bangalore in May.
Some Asteraceae.

Sonchus wightianus DC. ??? 

Thanks again.

Plant for ID : Bangalore : 01OCT20: AK-01 : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1)
A wild plant seen last week (1.10.20)
Seems to be from the Asteraceae family.
Could this be Blumea Species?
May be Sonchus wightianus DC. as per comparative images at Sonchus


efi thread (with syn. as Sonchus arvensis auct. non L.; Hook. f. Flora Br. Ind. 3: 414. 1881, p.p.)  The Plant List Annotated checklist of Flowering plants of Nepal  Flora of China  India Biodiversity Portal 

Flora of Madhya Pradesh: Chhatarpur and Damoh By G. P. Roy, B. K. Shukla, Bhaskar Datt (Keys- S. oleraceous & wightianus & Description)  (with syn. as Sonchus arvensis auct. non L.; Hook. f. Flora Br. Ind. 3: 414. 1881, p.p.)