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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Young leaves - raw or cooked[1][2][3][4][5]. This species has the nicest tasting leaves of the genus[6], they usually have a mild agreeable flavour[7] especially in the spring[K]. They can be added to salads, cooked like spinach or used in soups etc[8]. The leaves contain about 30 - 40mg of vitamin C per 100g[9], 1.2% protein, 0.3% fat, 2.4% carbohydrate, 1.2% ash[10]. A zero moisture analysis is also available[11]. It might be best, though it is not essential, to remove the marginal prickles[3].

Stems - cooked like asparagus or rhubarb[12]. They are best if the outer skin is removed first[8]. Young root - cooked[12]. They are woody and not very acceptable[13].

The milky sap has been used as a chewing gum by the Maoris of New Zealand[8].

Unknown part

Gum

Leaves

Material uses

The latex in the stem contains 0.14% rubber, but this is much too low for commercial exploitation[11].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The plant is emmenagogue and hepatic[14][15]. An infusion has been used to bring on a tardy menstruation and to treat diarrhoea[15].

The latex in the sap is used in the treatment of warts[11]. It is also said to have anticancer activity[11]. The stem juice is a powerful hydrogogue and cathartic, it should be used with great caution since it can cause colic and tenesmus[11]. The gum has been used as a cure for the opium habit[15]. The leaves are applied as a poultice to inflammatory swellings[2].

An infusion of the leaves and roots is febrifuge and tonic[16].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in situ. This species is a common garden weed and should not need any encouragement.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Sonchus oleraceus. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Succeeds in most soils in a sunny position.

This plant has been cultivated for its edible leaves by the Maoris of New Zealand[6].

The plant is a good companion for onions, tomatoes, corn as well as the cucumber and squash family[17].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Sonchus oleraceus. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Sonchus oleraceus.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Sonchus oleraceus
Genus
Sonchus
Family
Compositae
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
?
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    1 x meters
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.3 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.2 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Hatfield. A. W. How to Enjoy your Weeds. Frederick Muller Ltd ISBN 0-584-10141-4 (1977-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.2 Brooker. S. G., Cambie. R. C. and Cooper. R. C. Economic Native Plants of New Zealand. Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-558229-2 (1991-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Les Ecologistes de l'Euzi?re Les Salades Sauvages Not given. ISBN 2-906128-04-X (1994-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.3 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Crowe. A. Native Edible Plants of New Zealand. Hodder and Stoughton ISBN 0-340-508302 (1990-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Reid. B. E. Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre (1977-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.211.311.411.511.611.7 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.2 Loewenfeld. C. and Back. P. Britain's Wild Larder. David and Charles ISBN 0-7153-7971-2 ()
    13. ? 13.013.1 Cribb. A. B. and J. W. Wild Food in Australia. Fontana ISBN 0-00-634436-4 (1976-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.115.215.3 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.1 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    17. ? Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-262-7 (1979-00-00)
    18. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)

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