Common Names: Prickly sow-thistle, rough milk thistle, spiny sowthistle, sharp-fringed sow thistle, spiny-leaved sow thistle
Sub-category: Aster family
The leaves are bluish-green, simple, lanceolate, with wavy and sometimes lobed margins, covered in spines on both the margins and beneath. The base of the leaf surrounds the stem. The plant can reach 6 ft in height. The leaves and stems emit a milky sap when cut. The flowers grow in clusters and the end of the stems.
As a weed, it is commonly found near roadsides, landscapes, and pastures.
Edible Notes: Like the dandelion, it's leaves are reported to be edible, though some people may have a bad reaction to it. Not recommended.
Warnings: The plant can be classified as a noxious weed. Care should be exercised when weeding or handling the plant. Many people report irritations ranging from burning sensations, redness, and mild to severe rashes when coming in contact with the spines. Hands should be rinsed immediately after handling the plant, as the chemical irritant can spread easily via contact to other parts of the body, in a similar way to poison ivy.