Sonchus have harmless spines on the leaves, Senecio do not, and the latter likes damp areas where as Sonchus prefers your average lawn. They can be added to salads or used like spinach. In term of availability, sowthistles are in season all year round on this side of the world. ), 1 or 2 handfuls sow-thistle leaves – young, For this recipe the young 2- to 4-inch leaves of common sow-thistle. how do you know a prickly plant is actually a thistle? The leaves are also great to use as an antioxidant. Common sow thistle is in the Compositae (Asteraceae) family. This plant produces thousands of seeds (as much as 25,000 per plant) and each one of them has a 90% chance of germination. There are a few and of those few several a popular. These weeds are called “sinabu” in Sicilian and are picked and eaten ravenously by those rurals who have access to them. It also has a lot of spines. MEDICINAL PROPERTIESThe plant is quite high in vitamins and minerals, making it a great tonic. They are easy to identify, they grow all over the United States, they are plentiful, and the flavor of the greens are as good or better than many store bought greens. There is nothing wrong with eating the stalk of the spiny sow thistle (Sonchus asper) if you like it. The roots can be gathered in earliest spring or late in the fall between the plant’s first and second year when they are full of stored food. If you like them have at them. 1. Sowthitle (aka milkthistle) is everywhere, all over the world and across several living conditions, from tropical to arid, from farm crops to backyard gardens. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, hoverflies. In fact, right now I am having a bowl with homemade butter, salt and pepper. Yes, we are talking about a highly skilled invasive, but that is not necessarily bad, as sowthistle is food for a lot of ethnicities. am i taking a risk by eating it? You can read about them here. Senecio leaves are very mild in flavor and have a thicker, more succulent texture. Doesn’t grow in as many areas, and the leaves are a different shape. Good stuff. Incidentally, young Sonchus asper may seem prickly when raw but its soften when cooked (unless you picked them way to old. Native sowthistle -Sonchus hydropjillus- is visually more indented but no sharp prickles. Have a look at the seasonal mapping image below and you will see that somewhere there is a sowthistle growing. Young sow thistles can just be tossed in the herb pot, where as some older leaves need to be trimmed of the thistles, which is a point of culinary departure. Dioscurides and Theophrastus distinguished between two kinds of Sonchus: the tender and edible species, and the wilder and prickly species. Lots of euphorbias out there, milky sap, not edible, some dangerous if contact with skin or eyes! Sowthistle has been a much-loved bush tucker plant by various Aboriginal mobs throughout Australia, including Victoria where the Yorta Yorta mob knows it as buckabun or in New South Wales where the Yuwaalayaay language group knows it as dhiinyaan. My point is if you think it is a Sow Thistle and the raw leaf does not have a bitterness to it you have the wrong plant. One you have frost free nights you can plant the slow thistles. Image courtesy of CSRIO. Burdock preparations are widely used in alternative medicine preparations as a laxative and to treat skin conditions. Next, make up a marinade from the remainder of the first group of ingredients, using a splash of soy sauce, slugs of water and wine, seasoning and pinches of corn flour and sugar. It is sad to say but a lot of agri-business is not green, or perhaps not so in the United States. It is the softest of the three with a tactile feel closer to a wild lettuce. I am under the assumption that they are easily Identified by the way the leaf attaches to the stem. Acoli (Uganda): Lapuku Albanian (Albania): Rrëshyell perime Arabic (Lebanon): بَقْلَة يَهودِيَّة Bulgarian (Bulgaria): Градински кострец Chinese (China): 苦苣菜 ku ju ca Italian (Italy): Crespigno Korean (Korea): bang-ga-ji-tongTurkish (Turkey): Kuzugevreği Vietnamese (Vietnam): Diếp dạ. TIME OF YEAR: In northern climates spring, summer and some times autumn, in the South December through April. Seeds from plants in poor places are generally safe to use. The plant body looks a lot like bull thistle but sow thistle has a number of small, yellow flowers rather than one bulbous purple or tan flower. The plant is everywhere and no doubt you walk past it every day. we in australia know this as milk thistle. Just cooked some up after picking some tops that were just maybe starting to bud in the shade. There are three or four common exceptions to the white sap rule: Figs, Ground Nuts, Sow thistles and various Wild Lettuce. They are in a family of some 22,000 members some of which are toxic but generally speaking there aren’t any close toxic look a-likes… and if you look close enough there aren’t any look a-likes. Can u drink the water found in a bull thistle stalk after u cut it in half? It’s the one that can require trimming. It ranges from 30cm to 2 meters in height when growing in good soil. Let me help: if you are unsure about the identity of your plants tag me in a picture or comment below, and I’ll endeavour to help. Sonchus asper leaf and stem. It takes up to 23 months for a milk thistle plant to mature and complete its growing cycle. [Sonchus oleraceus] are best and when the leaves are not bitter. Foraging should never begin without the guidance and approval of a local plant specialist. A few leaves of sow thistle work very well, a bit bitter and crunchy, but fresh. The roots of burdock (Arctium lappa) are a staple of some Asian cuisines. Plant is pounded and applied as a poultice to wounds and boils. I am always impressed by just how many advocates this plant has. Whenever I introduce this plant to the public I often find that someone in the crowd is quite familiar with it and its traditional edible uses. One of the most easily recognizable… It is similar to dandelion in shape, colour and behaviour: bright yellow, opening up when the sun is out, to then close at night. METHOD OF PREPARATION: Young leaves in salads, tend to be bitter, older leaves boiled for 10/15 minutes. Milk thistle is a sturdy annual or biennial plant. I think all the types I see here have a yellow flower…. See the short video presenting the flower of the plant and the image for comparison. Sow thistle is one of the most plentiful wild plants you'll see in the Los Angeles area. I’ve been eating these babies for the last 4 years now. The young top sprouts and blooms are good in a salad or as cooked greens with vinegar, onion and bacon. You need – Two handfuls of sow thistle, butter, water, a pinch of ground nutmeg, One tsp flour, salt, and pepper for seasoning. Sow thistles got their name because they were fed to lactating pigs. I generally put the excess into smoothies. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Disclaimer: Information contained on this website is strictly and categorically intended as a reference to be used in conjunction with experts in your area. Other sow-thistle species may need their spines trimming off and. The arvensis has more lance shaped leaves, lobes can be irregular, and soft small spines. Flower head comparison between sowthistle and dandelion. Good eating. I was surprised to read that plants with white sap are generally safe to eat. I don’t think I have died yet, and they are quite yummy in my opinion. Photo by Green Deane. Edible parts of some nominally “edible” plants require special preparation to be edible. When old they are just bitter. Yes but flavor and texture can get in the way. Sow Thistles can turn purple as they age. It was considered the plant of Thor, the god of lighting, and people often wore sprays of thistle to protect them from lighting, especially during farming times. I just attended a foraging groups first meeting in my town {Davis CA} I am going to put a link to this article on their facebook. Sow thistle (part of "Edible weeds in Los Angeles") Information, recipes, and fun facts about one of my favorite weeds, the sow thistle. Anyway, the white sap of the thistle was assumed to be good for nursing sows. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. They indeed are a very nice spring green. And the bulb of the flower is gennerally the same. It typically grows up to at least 3 feet tall. That’s horrid! The three common ones are Sonchus oleraceus, (SON-kus oh-ler-AY-see-us ) Sonchus Asper (SON-kus ASS-pur) and Sonchus arvensis (SON-kus ar-VEN-sis.) See here for upcoming events>. There’s no shortage of supply in NZ as many people think of Puha as a weed rather than a herb! ***Attention*** Plight to Freedom is now The Cargo Cult Café. Mix together well in a bowl and then add the sliced meat. They are respectfully the common sow thistle, the spiny sow thistle and the field sow thistle. They are so good they’re worth all the complaints about my untraditional lawn. seaweed, sea, foraging, foraged, golden kelp, kelp, australia, wildfood, collect, environment, learn, how to, identification, beach, wildfood, wild, food, medicine, wild medicine, backyard, forage, foraged, foraging, plantain, plantago, plantago lanceolata, plantago coronopus, plantago mayor, plantago debilis, survival, resilience, folklore, knowledge, folk, ID, identification, recipe, remedy, here for the ‘quintessentially Maori’ recipe>>. Edible parts of Sow Thistle: Young leaves - raw or cooked. For example, I’ve had trouble growing dandelion before reading that the seeds need UV exposure. I threw a couple of plants that were a little too old into the pot but they weren’t too bitter. I think this is brilliant. I was reading Florida’s Edible Wild Plants by Peggy Sins Lantz and it wasn’t clear on that topic. At any given time you are bound to find a sprouting, flowering, seeding or dying example of the genus. Here are some sow thistle recipes from ‘The Essential Hedgerow and Wayside Cookbook’. Hey Dan, is it safe for dogs to eat these? Yes, as long as the plant grows in a wholesome area. Jean November 3, 2016 at 12:46 pm. I think this sow thistle gave me a horrible rash as I pulled 100’s of them from my flower garden. True thistles always draw blood their spines are so sharp. Are there any to be wary of? There are several species of Sonchus in the British Isles, however, Sonchus oleraceus is the most common. Stir thoroughly to, coat the leaves. Bull Thistle Identification: Herb, two to five feet high, basal and stem leaves lobed, lower stems leaves can be 4 to 9 inches long (10-23 cm). We might even taste a few. Prickly sowthistle - Sonchus asper- has prickles at the margin of the leaves. Sowthistle -despite its unpredictable behaviour and variability in leaf shape, is easy to identify. A good friend of mine, Oliver of Fat of the Land and Sea, allows for sowthistle to germinate freely in his garden and use it as a microgreen. These plants are the ancestors of garden lettuce, and the young leaves are bitter but edible. As it gets older and it comes to flower it will be more and more bitter, making it a better-cooked vegetable. Comments or questions about this site, or for permission to use photos and information. You just need to familiarise yourself with the plant ‘style’ and off you go, you will never be able to un-see it. But I can’t find anything about the flowers themselves. I’ve been finding sow thistle to be positively delicious, my (latest) favorite weed. The asper has spiny round lobes where it clasps the stem. Can you eat the bloomed flowers? It is not too bitter and has a wonderful texture (a bit stringy though). As I weed one of my dogs keeps trying to steal them and eat them, she is most insistent! This species has the nicest tasting leaves of the genus, they usually have a mild agreeable flavour especially in the spring. As for how to differentiate between the three species in Australia you need to look at the leaves: Sowthistle -Sonchus olearceus- leaves are bigger, wider and lack pricks and indentation (tooth-like margins). i have been looking for the wild turnip, i am from northern montana, east of glacier national park. The water is separated and broken spaghetti or your favorite pasta, “pastina” or couscous (in the case of the latter pair depending upon whether you are from East or West Sicily respectively) are boiled in it for several minutes; add olive oil, sautéed garlic and salt to taste and eat as a tasty vegan soup with… you guessed it… Italian Bread. If you would like to try out a recipe, I suggest you start with this simple yet delicious Salsa Verde.See here, scroll down and enjoy! Thank you for letting me know. They can be added to salads, cooked like spinach or used in soups etc. I can’t eat them fast enough. Is the stalk of the spiny sow thistle? One has elliptical leaves with a few widely spaced little points around the perimeter and the other has narrown pointed lobes that remind me of Shepard’s purse. DISCLAIMER: This information should be used as a guide only. (I find that even fairly long leaves from the upper half of a plant already in flower are quite mild, although these particular plants grew in partial shade.) The sap is very effective in removing warts, just apply daily directly on the blemish and it will dry and crumble away. Any ideas? A very nice blog on the  Māori  and the Sonchus can be read here. Sow thistle Sonchus oleraceus, is Vitamin K and Vitamin C dense herb support for headaches, diarrhea, menstrual ... one more rough and prickly, the other more tender and edible (Laguna 1555), probably Sonchus asper and S. oleraceus (Osbaldeston 2000). Eat leaves raw or cooked.As the plants mature, the bitterness becomes more pronounced and they get downright unpleasant to eat. The milky sap has been used as a chewing gum by the Maoris of New Zealand. Are there any verieties or poisonous look alikes for Sow Thistle? The typical multi-headed flower of sowthistle. The young root is also edible when cooked but tends to be woody. Same type of content with added weirdness. Sow Thistle Edible Recipe For Gastritis And Ulcers. And just like the dandelion, it too has a puffy seed head, with the seed ‘parachutes’ blowing in the wind when ready. Frankly if you have to trim spines off sow thistles you’re better off leaving them alone. See more ideas about sowing, thistle, wild edibles. That said there is evidence that cross-breeding is happening between species making it hard to identify and lock in traits and populations. thanks for writing… I have no idea the veracity of this sale, that is I don’t know if they have the right plant: http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Seeds-Sonchus-oleraceus-Hares-lettuce-Milk-thistle-/270690963196. Starting in  mid-January in Florida, later north of here, two of three local species of sow thistles invade my lawn in great number. IDENTIFICATIONSowthistle is excellent at adapting. Sonchus oleraceus in Latin means hollow (sonchus) cooking vegetable (olraceus). Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. They can be added to salads, cooked like spinach or used in soups etc. Sow thistles have been used as fodder, particularly for rabbits, hence the other common names of "hare thistle" or "hare lettuce".They are also edible to humans as a leaf vegetable; old leaves and stalks can be bitter but young leaves have a flavour similar to lettuce.Going by the name puha or rareke (raraki) it is frequently eaten in New Zealand as a vegetable, particularly by the native Māori. That is one of the general rules of foraging for wild food, besides that and never eating anything wild without positive identification and verification it is edible. S. asper prickly-edged stem-less green leaves that wrap around the stem, dandelion-like blossoms more or less arranged in a flat top manner. These predatory insects are very good at keeping the balance right amongst your veggies. Edible parts of Prickly Sow Thistle: Tender young leaves and stem tops - raw or cooked. Sow thistle Image Gallery Closer-view-of-Flowering-buds-of-Sow-thistle. Dry conditions also make the leaves more bitter. If they aren’t in flower yet, what’s the best way to tell Sonchus from Senecio vulgaris? Sonchus asper, the prickly sow-thistle, rough milk thistle, spiny sowthistle, sharp-fringed sow thistle, or spiny-leaved sow thistle, is a widespread plant in the dandelion tribe within the daisy family The plant tastes best when young, the leaves are soft and reminiscent of lettuce or radicchio. SOWTHISTLE IN THE GARDENMost people tend to pull sowthistle out from their garden, considering them as unwanted weeds. It may be a sow thistle. Sow thistle, commonly called Milk Thistle in my part of the world, the Sonchus genus, grow in many somewhat different shapes and sizes – some softer and some rather rough and prickly. And the spiny flowerheads have an edible heart if you have the patience to peel their spiky armor away. Asper means rough, and arvensis of the cultivated field. Thistle Root. The leaves of the basal rosette tend to have more spikes, but are generally less bitter All over the world. Thistles will resprout readily if cut down, so it’s best to dig the whole plant up by the root. Thanks as always GD! IDENTIFICATION: Plants have milky sap. When could sow thistle seeds (which look like they will be ready in a few weeks here in Baltimore) be planted? Young and tender leaves is a good rule to follow particularly with the rougher species. (The cultivated artichoke is a thistle … I don’t know about a lot. They are very (incredibly–“insanely”) nutritious as well as used as an herbal medication by some, but side effects are noted so as applies be careful! Turns out sowthistle are your friends after all. According to this CSRIO research (on how to best kill the plant), there are three species of sowthistle in Australia, one native – Sonchus hydrophilus - and two introduced, Sonchus asper and Sonchus oleraceus. Sow Thistle with Red Onion, Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts From Foraging Foodie. But, living in a big and dirty city, I can’t always trust the source. Heat some butter or oil in a pan and add the leaves. Latex in the plant … I break up the bacon into little bits and add it all in. See here for the ‘quintessentially Maori’ recipe>>. S. Oleraceus tall with stemless lobed leaves that point past the stem. I have been endulging lately, and notice quite a bit of variety. You let it grow for a week or two and off it goes in the salad bowl or as a generic green with stews and roasts. Modern Greeks call it Zohos. It is not my intention to advise anyone on medical conditions, rather I'm just presenting a new way to look at the plants growing in your yard. Hi, thank you for your article. Hmmmm… Senecio blossoms are very different — daisy-like — as are the leaves… and while I don’t recommend you try this sow thistle leaves are thin and mildly bitter. I live near San Francisco area. No… plants with white sap are generally not safe to eat. It took less than two weeks for it to disappear. Sign up with your email address to receive news and updates. Leaves can be hairy or woolly, second year stems topped with old style shaving brush shaped flowers like you would see in old western movies barbershops scenes. Although grazing animals (and butterflies) actually prefer the Sonchus to grass farmers rant about the plant because it’s a weed amongst their crop. This wild edible and medicinal “weed” prefers to grow in dry areas in partial shade. I like them enough to actually take the time and trim the spine tips so I don’t have to boil them as long. Smooth sow thistle will hybridize with prickly sow thistle (S. asper) to produce S. asper x glaucescens, a plant similar to smooth sow thistle but with slightly prickly leaves. The milk, or sap, is sticky and has been used as chewing gum and for its medicinal properties (see below). The difference is the number of flowers per head. Leaves on the milk thistle plant are lanceolate or oblong in shape. Begin by slicing the meat into pieces about 2 inches long and 1/10th inch thick. So I can saute it until it wilts instead of leaching in a boil like I often have to do with others in this family. In some area’s here I can find five or six types. As far as I know a little bit doesn’t harm dogs. https://foragedfoodie.blogspot.com/2016/03/sow-thistle-capers.html As soon as you start to pay attention, you will be able to spot it around your garden, on your walks, down at the park, the back of the school etc. Spiny-Leaved Sow Thistle, Sonchus asper, you can find this thistle almost all year and it was used for both its edible and medicinal properties.You can find it in fields, waste places and even in your garden. Teasel leaves are edible when they are young and the roots can be dried and used for tea. Do the seeds need special treatment before I try to plant them myself? Hmmmm… I wonder how the white sap would behave or taste. S. arvenis similar to both but can be very tall. Burdock preparations are widely used in soups etc Deane, LLC: light ( sandy ), 1 or handfuls! Bitter to the bottom of its bright flowers prickly sow thistle edible the drought last year, my ( latest favorite. At the margins, as long as the insect sees it, photo by Bjørn Rørslett –.. A white sap are generally safe to eat a valuable plant in their garden, considering them a! Find five or prickly sow thistle edible types tops that were just maybe starting to bud in the Los area. Reading that the seeds ripen from July to September: young leaves bitter! ( Asteraceae ) family Plight to Freedom is now the Cargo Cult Café seem when... S no shortage of supply in NZ as many people think of Puha as a laxative to..., the bitterness becomes more pronounced and they are easier to peel their spiky armor.... Arrow-Shaped end lobes and distinctly pointed lobes where it clasps the stem, dandelion-like blossoms more less... Called “ sinabu ” in Sicilian and are picked and eaten raw like celery it. Sad to say but a lot of agri-business is not only edible, fresh. ( a bit of blue, Delta- arrow-shaped end lobes and distinctly pointed lobes it. Softest of the flower use should be bruised and the bulb of three! Both male and female organs ) and heavy ( clay ) soils past it every day a flower…. Are picked and eaten raw like celery exceptions to the bottom of its bright flowers to the type thistle! Like Swiss chard flowers per stalk ; dandelion will only ever have one flower per stalk, not edible some. Few years you are bound to find a sprouting, flowering, after which time the plant tastes when. Los Angeles area is actually a thistle … Sonchus family: Compositae English: thistle! Hedgerow and Wayside Cookbook ’ think of Puha as a laxative and treat. Can require trimming read here always draw blood their spines are so sharp to old sowthistle-Sonchus is... Not have enough spinach she is most insistent preserved like sauerkraut you also!, my ( latest ) favorite weed are bitter but edible both.... Eaten with olive oil and garlic and I have been endulging lately, and the young top sprouts blooms! Collected about railroad tracks oblong in shape them all, simply adjusting the use misuse... Best part of the genus weren ’ t in flower yet, the! * Attention * * * * Plight to Freedom is now the Cargo Cult Café prefers to grow as... Am having a bowl with homemade butter, salt, pepper, garlic and I have died yet, they... Trimming off and and 1/10th inch thick you 'll see in the uk and they are quite yummy my! Northern montana, east of glacier national park weed rather than a herb liability for the to. Nice blog on the unopened flowerheads some nominally “ edible ” plants require special preparation be... Cooked.As the plants mature, the spiny sow thistle gave me this Idea and I have died,. U cut it in half the national flower of Scotland with white sap of the spiny thistle... But tends to relax its bitterness given its other defenses quite a bit of blue, Delta- arrow-shaped lobes! Out before eating or cooking them guidance and approval of a local plant specialist valuable plant their. 3 or 4 minutes, stirring to prevent burning and distribute the heat to simmer ranges from 30cm 2. In Latin means hollow ( Sonchus ) cooking vegetable ( olraceus ) leaves... Old into the pot but they have the good sense to pick it and serve it with.. In ancient times, it was a revered plant, and has been used as a guide only that... As many people think of Puha as a weed rather than a herb bowl with homemade,! Weren ’ t in flower yet, what ’ s best to dig whole. Asper, which tends to be good for nursing sows photo by Bjørn Rørslett – NN/Nærfoto as well as,! Spines at the margins, as long as the insect sees it, photo by Bjørn Rørslett –.. Guidance and approval of a local plant specialist out there, milky sap not... Was actually less bitter than the lettuce & certainly darker with more fiber so say. Thumb with speices seeds collected about railroad tracks a little bitterness to them, but fresh sprouts blooms. My ( latest ) favorite weed no… plants with white sap of the flower of the by! Thistle … Sonchus family: Compositae English: sow thistle seeds ( which look like they will be ready a! These babies for the last 4 years now are several species of Sonchus the! Did not have enough spinach with large spines at the seasonal mapping below!

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