Prickly Sow-Thistle   
Foto info
Prickly Sow-Thistle
ative Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Prickly Sow-Thistle, Spiny sowthistle • Hindi: Dudhi • Manipuri: Khomthokpi • Marathi: Mhatara
Botanical name: Sonchus asper    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)

Prickly Sow-Thistle is a creeping rooted annual, growing 1–5 ft tall. Its stems branch near the top, while its leaves, which have weak marginal prickles, clasp the stem. Plants contain a bitter milky juice. Flowers are golden-yellow, up to 1 in broad. It is a common weed throughout India and most frequently occurs on roadsides, cultivated, waste and fallow ground, field margins, meadows, ditches, and neglected areas. It often appears in pastures and crops, however it rarely causes significant problems, as it is readily grazed in pasture and out-competed by most crops. Seeds showing parachute of hairs The Prickly Sow-Thistle is spread entirely by seed. Seeds, which are, on average, 3mm long by 2 mm wide, are equipped with a small parachute of hairs, that can carry them over large distances in strong winds. Seeds lying on the ground may also be transported in moving water.
Medicinal uses: Plant extract is applied to fresh injuries. Plants are pounded and applied to wounds and boils. Herb is used as an emollient.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh
Photographed in Botanical Garden, Srinagar, Kashmir.
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