From Lions to Cats and Hawks to Pigs

26th January 2013

Another similar looking basal rosette today, and still in the Asteraceae family this time it is Smooth Sow-thistle Sonchus oleraceus.

Smooth Sow-thistle Sonchus oleraceus
There are four species of Sow-thistle growing in this country they superficially resemble thistles but don’t have the same sharp prickles, their yellow Dandelion like flowers later in the year demonstrate their relationship to Dandelions and the Cat’s-ears, Hawk’s-beards and Hawkbits discussed in the previous blogs.  The leaves of all species can be eaten and it is the basal rosettes that are best as they tend to be less bitter than the leaves on the flower stems although on Prickly Sow-thistle S. asper the leaves on the flower stems are less prickly.  Like the previous members of the Daisy family that we have looked at the leaves can be eaten raw in salads or cooked, either boiled or fried in butter.

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