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  1. Family: Asteraceae Bercht. & J.Presl
    1. Sonchus L.

      1. This genus is accepted, and is native to Europe, Asia-Tropical, Africa, Southern America, Australasia and Asia-Temperate..


    Compositae, H. Beentje, C. Jeffrey & D.J.N. Hind. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2005

    Herbs or subshrubs; stems erect or scrambling, often hollow
    Leaves alternate, often pinnatifid or pinnatisect; basal (root-crown) leaves smaller
    Capitula in corymbs or panicles, rarely solitary; involucre cylindrical to spreading, often woolly at base; phyllaries in several series, imbricate, the outermost smallest and becoming swollen at base; receptacle epaleate, pitted
    Florets many; corolla yellow; anthers sagittate at base; style branches with minute sweeping hairs
    Achenes compressed, few-ribbed; pappus of mixed bristles and fine hairs.

    Compositae, G. V. Pope. Flora Zambesiaca 6:1. 1992

    Annual, perennial or biennial herbs.
    Stems erect, sometimes scrambling, mostly solitary, branched above, leafy throughout or leaves ± crowded below, hollow (at least in the Flora Zambesiaca area).
    Leaves alternate, cauline, undivided or runcinate to pinnately-lobed, ± auriculate to sagittate, margins subentire or acicular-denticulate to irregularly and sharply dentate; basal leaves smaller, less dissected.
    Capitula few in terminal clusters, or many in lax compound corymbs, sometimes solitary, stalked or some subsessile.
    Receptacle pitted, epaleate.
    Involucres 1–2 times as long as broad, cylindric-campanulate to spreading, ± persistently tomentose below, sometimes glabrous.
    Phyllaries several-seriate, imbricate, densely tomentose to glabrescent, sometimes glandular-setose outside, the outer eventually ± swollen at the base.
    Florets numerous, yellow, the ligule sometimes reddish outside with age; anthers sagittate at the base with the auricles shortly setaceous-acuminate; style branches medium to long, sweeping hairs small.
    Achenes reddish-brown, narrowly obovoid to ellipsoid, ± compressed, glabrous, without a beak, ribbed; ribs 1–4, often with secondary ribs between, uniformly narrow, eventually ± swollen, or marginal ribs wing-like, smooth, rugulose or retrorsely and minutely tuberculate.
    Pappus several-seriate, dimorphic of stiff straight setae intermixed with down-like hairs.



    Native to:

    Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Altay, Amur, Angola, Assam, Austria, Azores, Baleares, Baltic States, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burkina, Burundi, Buryatiya, Cameroon, Canary Is., Cape Provinces, Cape Verde, Central African Repu, Central European Rus, Chad, Chatham Is., China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Chita, Corse, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Desventurados Is., Djibouti, East Aegean Is., East European Russia, East Himalaya, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Free State, Føroyar, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Guinea, Gulf of Guinea Is., Gulf States, Hainan, Hungary, India, Inner Mongolia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Irkutsk, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jawa, Juan Fernández Is., Kamchatka, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Khabarovsk, Kirgizstan, Krasnoyarsk, Kriti, Krym, Kuril Is., KwaZulu-Natal, Laos, Lebanon-Syria, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Madeira, Magadan, Malawi, Malaya, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Guinea, New South Wales, Nigeria, North Caucasus, North European Russi, Northern Provinces, Northwest European R, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Primorye, Queensland, Romania, Rwanda, Sakhalin, Sardegna, Saudi Arabia, Selvagens, Senegal, Sicilia, Sinai, Socotra, Somalia, South Australia, South European Russi, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tasmania, Thailand, Tibet, Transcaucasus, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Tuva, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Victoria, Vietnam, West Himalaya, West Siberia, Western Australia, Xinjiang, Yakutskiya, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Introduced into:

    Alabama, Alaska, Alberta, Antipodean Is., Argentina Northeast, Arizona, Arkansas, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, British Columbia, California, Caroline Is., Chile Central, Christmas I., Cocos (Keeling) Is., Colombia, Colorado, Connecticut, Cook Is., Costa Rica, Cuba, Delaware, District of Columbia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Falkland Is., Fiji, Florida, Galápagos, Georgia, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, Iceland, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Jamaica, Kansas, Kazan-retto, Kentucky, Korea, Labrador, Leeward Is., Line Is., Louisiana, Maine, Manchuria, Manitoba, Marianas, Marquesas, Marshall Is., Maryland, Masachusettes, Mauritius, Mexican Pacific Is., Mexico Southeast, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Namibia, Nebraska, Nevada, New Brunswick, New Caledonia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Newfoundland, Nicaragua, Niue, Norfolk Is., North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Territory, Northwest Territorie, Nova Scotia, Ogasawara-shoto, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Oregon, Panamá, Paraguay, Pennsylvania, Peru, Philippines, Prince Edward I., Puerto Rico, Qinghai, Québec, Rhode I., Rodrigues, Réunion, Saskatchewan, Society Is., South Carolina, South China Sea, South Dakota, South Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Tonga, Trinidad-Tobago, Tristan da Cunha, Tubuai Is., Turks-Caicos Is., Uruguay, Utah, Venezuela, Vermont, Virginia, Wake I., Washington, West Virginia, Windward Is., Wisconsin, Wyoming, Yukon

    Accepted Species


    Other Data

    Sonchus L. appears in other Kew resources:


    First published in Sp. Pl.: 793 (1753)

    Accepted by

    • Roskov Y. & al. (eds.) (2018). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands.


    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • —F.T.A. 3: 457.

    Flora Zambesiaca

    • in Bot. Not. 127: 7–37, 402–451 (1974).
    • in Bot. Not. 126: 155–196 (1973)
    • Boulos in Bot. Not.125: 287–319 (1972)
    • C. Jeffrey in Kew Bull. 18: 478–482 (1966).
    • Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 347 (1754).
    • Sp. Pl. 2: 793 (1753)

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • K.Bremer, Asteraceae Clad. & Class.: 189 (1994)
    • Boulos, Bot. Notis. 125: 293 (1972)
    • C. Jeffrey in K.B. 18: 478 (1966)
    • R.E. Fr. in Acta Horti Berg. 8:92 (1924)
    • L., Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 347 (1754)
    • Sp. Pl.: 793 (1753)


    Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.