COMMON BLUE-SOWTHISTLE

Cicerbita macrophylla

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]  

Flowers:
month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug month8sep month8sept

Pappus: pappusZpossible (white)
pappus8aug pappus8sep pappus8sept pappus8oct

status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8lilac
inner
inner8azure
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZmany
stem
stem8round
stem
stem8hollow

9th July 2005, near Hope, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Grows up to 2 metres high.


15th July 2011, Galloway. Photo: © Sue King-Smith
Amazing un-furling from bud. Like all flowers of the Daisy Family, each of the five strips is a flower in its own right (and not a 'petal').


9th July 2005, near Hope, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Has large azure to lilac coloured Dandelion-type flowers, but with fewer ray-florets than Dandelions. [Those of Alpine Blue-Sowthistle and Hairless Blue-Sowthistle have bluer flowers].


11th July 2006, Adstone, Church Stretton, Shropshire. Photo: © RWD
The inner disc florets have deeper sky-blue stigmas.


31st July 2007, near Hawes Water, Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The many bracts around the base of the flower are of various lengths may be tinged purple at the ends and have sticky hairs which also cover the stems and un-opened flower buds. The bracts form a narrower neck half-way up un-like those of Hairless Blue-Sowthistle, which is also hair-less.


22nd Aug 2008, Bradwell, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Ripe flowers ready for their last opening to display a seed-clock have a reddish tip.


9th July 2005, near Hope, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are very variable in shape, but triangular-toothed. Some are arrow-head shaped, whereas others have a deep neck nearer the stem. All clasp the main stem without stalks.


31st July 2007, near Hawes Water, Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The leaves clasp the main stem without auricles.


22nd Aug 2008, Bradwell, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Like all Dandelion-type flowers, the flowers produce a seed-clock aka pappus.


Some similarities to : Chicory and to Russian Lettuce Distinguishing Feature :

Not to be semantically confused with : Blue Globe-Thistle (Echinops bannaticus) which has spherical flower-heads.

Not to be mistaken for:

  • Chicory (which has bluer flowers held very close to the stem.
  • Alpine Blue-Sowthistle (Cicerbita alpina) (which has bluer flowers and is much rarer)
  • Hairless Blue-Sowthistle (Cicerbita plumieri) (which is both bluer and without hairs)
  • Russian Lettuce (aka Blue Lettuce) (Lactuca tatarica) (which is in a different genus and has deep blue flowers and narrower dandelion-type flowers)

Common Blue-Sowthistle appears to be very rare in Britain, located in but 4 places in AD2000. Its distribution appears to be totally sporadic and seems to randomly appear almost anywhere in the Britain. It is a garden escapee which has become naturalised.

This Blue-Sowthistle does not belong to the Sonchus genus and therefore does not exude a milky sap from broken stems, but rather to the Cicerbita genus.

The Common Blue-Sowthistle which is found in the UK is the sub-species ssp. uralensis.


  Cicerbita plumieri  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asteraceae  

Distribution
family8Daisy family8Dandelion  family8Asteraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Cicerbita
Cicerbita
(Blue-sowthistles)

COMMON BLUE-SOWTHISTLE

Cicerbita macrophylla

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]  

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