Erect or bent upwards, up to 600 mm, leafy. Hairless.
Flower stem - Hollow. Almost leafless. Hairless.
Single flowers at the ends of almost leafless stalks. Involucre cylindrical, 15 mm long and enlarging after flowering. About 4 rows of different sized, thin, narrow bracts. Forms large, silky balls of radiating seeds with their tufts of silky hairs that blow off in the wind.
Yellow, all ligulate (petalled)
Receptacle - naked with no chaffy bracts.
Petals - Yellow, scarcely longer than the involucre.
Anthers - Base pointed.
Light grey, striped, long and narrow, cylindrical on a thick, hollow stalk. Stalk plus seed about 10-12 mm long. Pappus of fine feathery bristles with long, silky, inter woven barbs. (the stalk looks like the seed and the seed looks like the beak which is attached to the pappus)
Plants with milky juice
Leaves alternate or radical.
Involucre bracts in 2-several rows.
Flowers all ligulate, all bisexual.
Ligules yellow, toothed at the tip
Style with plano convex branches attenuated toward the summit, bearing stigmatic papillae on the whole of the inner side and well developed collecting hairs on the outside down to below the place where the branches fork.
Anthers acute or acuminate at the base
Achenes longitudinally striate, contracted at the summit.
Pappus of plumose bristles.
Long barbs of the pappus bristles inter woven.
Adapted from John Black.
Biennial. Germinates autumn to winter. Growth from seedlings and old rootstocks occurs over winter and spring and it flowers in late spring to early summer
By seed and rootstock.
Spring to early summer in Western NSW.
September to November in SA.
Seed Biology and Germination:
Produces large amounts of seed.
Population Dynamics and Dispersal:
Spread by wind.
Origin and History:
Europe, Asia, Mediterranean.
NSW, SA, TAS, VIC.
Brown and grey clay and loams.
Fodder that is readily eaten by stock.
Weed of pasture and disturbed areas.
Dense colonies may form.
Appears to be increasing in pastoral areas.
Not recorded as toxic.
Management and Control:
Increase grazing pressure.
In open areas apply 1 L Tordon 75-D® in 100 L water in winter before flowering. This will control plants and leave a soil residual to control roots and later germinating seeds. Repeat annually as required.
In bushland situations a mixture of 100 mL of Lontrel® in 100 L water provides more selective control. Repeat annually.
No other weeds in the same genus.
Plants of similar appearance:
Sowthistle (Sonchus oleracea)
Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P940.
Bodkin, F. (1986). Encyclopaedia Botanica. (Angus and Robertson, Australia).
Cunningham, G.M., Mulham, W.E., Milthorpe, P.L. and Leigh, J.H. (1992). Plants of Western New South Wales. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P712. Photo.
Everist, S.L. (1974). Poisonous Plants of Australia. (Angus and Robertson, Sydney).
Harden, Gwen J. (1991). Flora of NSW. (Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney). Volume . P. Diagram.
Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).
Lazarides, M. and Cowley, K. and Hohnen, P. (1997). CSIRO handbook of Australian Weeds. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #802.1.
Moerkerk, M.R. and Barnett, A.G. (1998). More Crop Weeds. R.G. and F.J. Richardson, Melbourne. P61. Diagrams. Photos.
Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.