Western Isles
 Western Isles of Scotland

Western Isles Wildflowers

Western Isles wildflowers is a collection of information about our Hebridean wildflowers including identification hints, traditional herbal uses and general plant lore.


Prickly Sowthistle

Sonchus asper

Gaelic: Searbhan Muice

Prickly Sowthistle Prickly Sowthistle
Prickly Sowthistle

Prickly Sowthistle looks a bit like a combination of a dandelion and a thistle. It has yellow flowers and shiny prickly leaves. If the plant is damaged it exudes a milky sap.

The prickly sow thistle usually grows in arable fields and waste spaces. The one in the photograph was growing in a car park which was being reclaimed to nature by willowherb and white clover.

This plant flowers from June to August.

We get two other species of sow thistle in the Western Isles, corn (perennial) sowthistle and common (smooth) sowthistle.

Corn sow thistle has yellow flowers and soft spines, common sowthistle has no spines.

Prickly, common and corn sowthistles are all native wildflowers of the Western Isles.

Photography © Suzanne Harris
Stornoway - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
19th June, 2007

A-Z Wildflowers

Flowers By Colours:

yellow wildflowers

white wildflowers

pink wildflowers

blue or purplish

orchid ID notes

Flowering in:








Colour of the season

May 27th Lush Green!

June 11th White

June 25th Pink



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