Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

Sonchus asper
sensu various authors, Asteraceae
Click on an image for links to BIGGER PICTURES


Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Sonchus oleraceus L. var. asper L.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: prickly sow thistle, rough sow thistle, sowthistle, spiny sow thistle

French: laiteron apre, laiteron epineux, lastron piquant

Japanese: oni-nogeshi

Spanish: cardimuelle, cardinche, cerraja, cerraja aspera, cerraja comun, cerraja macho, nilhue, nilhue caballuno

Habit:  herb

Description:  "An herbaceous annual or winter annual; entire plant contains a sticky, white latex; taproot short, bushy with many lateral roots; stems erect, hollow, stout, unbranched or slightly branched, 30 to 150 cm tall, often reddish; may have gland-tipped hairs on upper stems; leaves alternate, 4 to 18 cm long, 0.5 to 5 cm wide, crisped, many-lobed (5 to 11 lobes on each side) with fewer lobes on upper leaves; ear-like basal lobes clasp stem, tip lobe often broadly triangular, rarely divided to the midrib; margins lined with long stiff spines; sometimes purple on lower surface, dark, glossy green above, inflorescence composed of flower heads 1.5 cm long, 1.2 to 2.5 cm in diameter, stalked in a cymose panicle, flask-shaped after opening; involucral bracts 9 to 16 mm long, green, with membranous margins, the inner row much longer than the outer; each capitulum with 25 to 150 ligulate, perfect, pale yellow florets; fruit an achene somewhat flat to obovate, orange-brown at maturity, 2 to 3 mm long, 1 mm wide, margined with a narrow wing, usually with 3 (rarely 4 or 5) distinct longitudinal, transversely wrinkled ribs on each face; spaces between the ribs smooth; pappus white, composed of numerous unbranched hairs united at base into deciduous ring, about 1 cm long.   This species may be identified by the hollow stems, milky juice, firm many-lobed leaves with spiny margins, the inner row of involucral bracts much longer than the outer, and achenes with longitudinal but no transverse ribs"  (Holm et al., 1997; p. 798).

"Annual herbs 1-1.5 dm tall, subglabrous.  Leaves lanceolate to obovate, 8-25 cm long, 2-8 cm wide, pinnatifid to merely toothed, conspicuously prickly, sessile and auriculate, the auricles rounded.  Involucre ca. 10 mm high in fruit. Achenes smooth, sometimes the outer ones slightly roughened, 6 (8-10)-ribbed, ca. 3 mm long, ca. 2-2.5 times as long as wide" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 358).

Habitat/ecology:  "Invades disturbed sites.  Achieves more ground cover cover in silty loam and clay soils than in sandy soils.  Plants tolerate saline soils, but not moisture stress"  (Holm et al., 1997; p. 798).

Propagation:  Wind-borne seed (Holm et al., 1997; p. 799).

Native range:  Europe, now a cosmopolitan weed (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 358).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island introduced
invasive
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 18)
Subsp. glaucescens (Jord.) Ball "A weed of disturbed ground". Vouchers cited: G. Uhe 1263 (K), P.S. Green 1629 (A, K), A.C. Beauglehole 5665 (MEL)
Chile (offshore islands)
Rapa Nui (Easter) Island
Rapa Nui (Easter) Island (Isla de Pasqua) introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2008) (p. 29)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Cuevas, Jaime G./Marticorena, Alicia/Cavieres, Lohengrin A. (2004) (p. 537)
Voucher cited: CONC 158045, JF 307
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (p. 558)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   Fosberg, F. R. (1997) (p. 19)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Adventice
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 358)
Voucher cited: Herbst & Ishikawa 5610 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 358)
Japan (offshore islands)
Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands
Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands introduced
Kato, Hidetoshi (2007)
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) invasive
Henty, E. E./Pritchard, G. H. (1975) (p. 79)
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 796)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island introduced
invasive
Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (p. 270)
Cited: Forster.
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Vava‘u Island introduced
invasive
Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (p. 270)
Cited: Barclay, Crosby.
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 796)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Northern Territory introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 796)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 796)
Chile (continental)
Chile
Chile (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 796)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 287)
As Sonchus oleraceus L. In wasteland.
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 796)
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 344)
Ecuador (Mainland)
Ecuador
Ecuador (Republic of) (continental) introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 796)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 796)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 796)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 190)
South Korea
South Korea
South Korea (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 796)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 796)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 343)
"Gardens, arable land, waste land, roadsides, coastal sand and talus, pasture, damaged forest, lake shores".
Perú
Perú
Perú (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 796)
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island introduced
invasive
Ching-I Peng, ed. (2013)
"In waste places at mid elevations".
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 796)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 800)

Control: 

Biological: "The leaf-gall fly (Cystiphora sonchi) of Europe and the former Soviet Union offer hope of supressing S. asper and S. arvensis in Canada. Females lay eggs on the undersides of leaves, forming up to 270 galls/plant and this insect was initially released in Canada in 1981" (Peschken, 1982, cited in Holm et al., 1997; p. 800).


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

This page was created on 13 JUL 2005 and was last updated on 22 JAN 2007.