Perennial Sowhtistle

Pest: Perennial sowthistle (Sonchus arvensis L.)

Pest Type: Perennial Broadleaf Weed

Major Identifying Features: Erect, patch forming, deep taproot, basal rosette, blue-green alternate leaves, 4-12 inches long with 2-5 lobes with prickly teeth on each side, thick mid-vein and exude a milky sap when crushed, 5 feet tall hollow stems with milky sap, smooth ridges, yellow flower in clusters

Life Cycle: Perennial, reproduction by seed and extensive creeping roots

Pest Rating: Moderate

Management Rating: Moderate

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Survives in many different habitats, common in gardens, cultivated crops, ditch-banks, waste areas, grows on heavy and moist soils

Damage Information: Can be a serious problem on rangelands, pastures, wastelands, roadsides, cultivated fields, canals, disturbed habitats, can displace native plant communities, can also affect the quality of crops by slowing drying times during hay harvest or contaminating seed products, reduces the value of the crop seed. Besides being a weed, perennial sowthistle also has some positive uses in herbal medicine

Management Options: Prevention by early detection, using weed-free crop seed on field borders, mechanical control by tillage, cultivation every 3-4 weeks, mowing before it flowers, cultural control by the cultivation of alfalfa-grass combined with regular mowing, grazing, biological control with Tephritis dilacerata, Cystiphora sonchi, Meloidogyne incognita, Heterodera sonchophilia, and some fungi, viruses and bacteria, chemical control with herbicides can be very effective, WARNING ON THE USE OF CHEMICALS

Sources:

http://www.unce.unr.edu

http://www.ipm.msu.edu

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu

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