Broadleaf Weed – Annual Sowthistle

(Sonchus oleraceus)

Annual Sowthistle also referred to as Common Sow-thistle, Hares Lettuce, Colewort, or Milk Thistle – is a winter annual broadleaf weed. Preferring disturbed areas, Sonchus oleraceus is often found growing in fields, gardens, residential lawns, open pastures, and also along roadsides and the edges of buildings. Annual Sowthistle can be found throughout much of North America.

Identifying Annual Sowthistle -

Annual Sowthistle is an annual that can be identified by its un-branched growth habit with smooth, vertically growing stems. Its stems and foliage appear succulent and waxy and are whitish or bluish in color. It also has leaf margins that are slightly prickly, but no other spines are present. The lobes at the base of the petiole clasp the stem. The weed has a short taproot and its leaves, stems, and roots exude a white sap when broken or cut.

Blooming from late-spring to mid-summer, Annual Sowthistle produces small clusters of flowerheads that bloom during the morning and close around noon. Each flowerhead consists of numerous yellow ray florets and no disk florets, similar in appearance to Dandelion.

Annual Sowthistle Control -

Annual Sowthistle can grow quite quickly under the right conditions and can grow in a wide range of areas. This weed rarely invades natural areas and is usually found in poorly maintained areas near homes, lawns and gardens. Cultural weed control methods, such as good mowing and watering practices, are typically not effective for complete removal and professionally applied herbicides are often necessary.

Annual Sowthistle

Scotts LawnService uses a selective systemic weed control program to fight Annual Sowthistle in your lawn, which ensures the herbicide is moved throughout the weed, killing it completely root and all.

Scotts LawnService is the trusted industry leader for professional quality lawn care. Our exclusive lawn care products include professionally applied systemic herbicides that are designed to control tough-to-kill weeds like Annual Sowthistle. Our lawn service teams are made up of highly trained, industry-certified professionals. Contact a representative today for Annual Sowthistle control options available in your area and to learn how you can enjoy a lush, thicker lawn that only Scotts LawnService can deliver.