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2006-11-16Sonchus oleraceus03-03.jpg  Melkdistel.jpg  Sonchus oleraceus1.jpg    Sonchus March 2008-1.jpg

 

NAME:  Sow Thistle

SPECIES / FAMILY:  Sonchus Oleraceus / Asteraceae

OTHER COMMON NAME(S): 

CONDITIONS: partial shade
 

PARTS:

EDIBLE cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

TASTE

RAW/COOK

SEASON

All

 

 

 

 

Shoots

 

 

 

 

Leaves

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520young

mildly bitter

RAW/COOK

Spring-Fall

Buds/Flowers

       

Fruits

 

 

 

 

Roots

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520young

     

Seeds

 

 

   

Nuts

 

 

 

 

Pods

 

 

 

 

Stalk/Stem

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

 

COOK

 

Bark

 

 

 

 

 

PORTION: small

 

COMMENT:  “This species has the nicest tasting leaves of the genus, they usually have a mild agreeable flavour especially in the spring. They can be added to salads, cooked like spinach or used in soups etc.. A zero moisture analysis is also available[. It might be best, though it is not essential, to remove the marginal prickles. Stems - cooked like asparagus or rhubarb. They are best if the outer skin is removed first. Young root - cooked. They are woody and not very acceptable. The milky sap has been used as a chewing gum by the Maoris of New Zealand.”(1)

 

CAUTION: Sow thistle contains latex, to which some people are allergic, from slightly to severely.

 

NUTRITION/MEDICINAL:  The leaves contain about 30 - 40mg of vitamin C per 100g, 1.2% protein, 0.3% fat, 2.4% carbohydrate, 1.2% ash(1) Also: Cancer;  Emmenagogue;  Febrifuge;  Hepatic;  Hydrogogue;  Poultice;  Tonic;  Warts.(1)

 

MEDICINAL:  LOOK-A-LIKES:  common thistle and dandelion

 

POISONOUS LOOK-A-LIKES: 

 

OTHER USES:  Gum;  Latex. The latex in the stem contains 0.14% rubber, but this is much too low for commercial exploitation(1)

 

SOURCE LINKS (may include nutritional and medicinal info, plus other uses):

  1. https://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Sonchus+oleraceus
  2. http://www.eattheweeds.com/sonchus-sow-thistle-in-a-pigs-eye-2/
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonchus_oleraceus
  4. http://www.foragingtexas.com/2009/01/sow-thistle.html  (good photos)
  5. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Sonchus_oleraceus (good photos)