Monster Sonchus-like plant

Requests about identification of wild plants in Malta and Gozo. (Please include precise details and pictures to help the experts in their ID process)

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Monster Sonchus-like plant

Post by MWP admin » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:11 am

I met this large plant with Sonchus-like leaves measuring 30cm or more. It had no flowers or fruit yet and I do not think that it is S. oleraceus / tenerrimus. The leaves were glabrous except few sparse hairs at the midrib and principal leaves underneath. Midrib strongly keeled. Latex exudate present. Terminal lobe/lobes very large, lateral lobes abruptly decreasing in size. Petiole very long, narrowly winged consisting mostly of the midrib having a C-shaped cross-section. Leaves arranged as a dense basal rosette. One plant located at the margin of a field (hence it is well nutritioned!)

Any bells ringing ? :roll:
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Post by IL-PINE » Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:08 pm

Sonchus asper

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Post by MWP admin » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:32 pm

The leaves of Sonchus asper are somewhat different:

1: The base of the leaf has a spathulate auricle clasping the stem with a spiny/bristly margin.

2: The margin of the leaf is dentate, where each teeth terminates by a bristle/spine (though the latter can be missing in old leaves)

3: S. asper usually have 3 or more lateral leaflets, though I belive that this is a rather variable character.

So for these reasons I have elimnated S. asper.
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Post by jackpot » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:43 pm

agree with very variable Sonchus asper (or Urospermum picroides???)

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Post by MWP admin » Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:45 pm

I plan to revisit the plant sometime in Spring to cut the verdict... yes, afterall, it maybe not a Sonchus...
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Post by MWP admin » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:21 pm

We will never get to know what exactly this species was becasue all plants at the side of the field were this specimen was located have been cleared.

Good bye investigation!
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