Sunday, 10 June 2012

Not Dandelions

Prickly Sowthistle, Sonchus asper.  High Elms Country Park, 22 May 2012.
Prickly Sowthistle, Sonchus asper.  High Elms Country Park, 22 May 2012.
I've heard people say that they think any flower that looks like this is some sort of Dandelion.  But that's far from true.  This plan looks more like a thistle until you see the flower.  You can see the edge of a prickly leaf on the right.

This thought is just an excuse to post two side views of non-Dandelions.  The second, Goat's-beard, is sometimes called Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon because the flower only opens in the morning sunshine.

Goat's-beard, Tragopogon pratensis agg.  High Elms Country Park, 22 May 2012.
Goat's-beard, Tragopogon pratensis agg.  High Elms Country Park, 22 May 2012.
I saw both these specimens at High Elms, but they are quite common, the Sow-thistle in particular.  It can be found on verges and waste ground, along with its realative the Smooth Sow-thistle.

1 comment:

  1. I like these (what child did not love to disperse the seed?). And, of course, leaves good to eat. Wikipedia gives even the goat's beard (= hawksbeard?) the same family, genus, and species:
    So common in California that they were what at about age 5 I called weeds, pure and simple.
    Are they really related to chicory?