Caffeine: the most potent artificial intelligence drink!

Caffeine: the most potent artificial intelligence drink!
Deep in the Lair of the Perpetually Curious Fox

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Perennial Sow Thistle: Sonchus arvensis (close cousin of Dandelion)


You'd be forgiven to initially think this is a Dandelion plant, I certainly did, but it's not. It's actually the Perennial Sow Thistle. They are, however, very closely related, and like Dandelions, the leaves and flowers are edible. Although, to me, the leaves of both species are too bitter to be eaten raw. Cooking it probably would taste better. The flowers are fine, though. Very sweet, in fact, and people actually do make Dandelion Wine -- I would imagine it would work well with Sow Thistle.

When we lived in Calgary I'd just pick a few leaves and flowers now and then from the side of the house, where I know they are not sprayed with pesticide or flavoured by dog turds XD. Here, because of the sheer number of dogs and lazy owners who don't pick up after their 4 legged friends, I just give them a sad glance and not bother harvesting. I did pick this one sample to take photos off, and to press. Not for eating, definitely not.

I have actually seen (Organic) Dandelion leaves being sold in Up Market Wholefood Shops, no surprise as it is very nutritious. Our Old Friend Wikipedia supplies these details:
Dandelion greens, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 188 kJ (45 kcal)

9.2 g
Sugars 0.71 g
Dietary fiber 3.5 g

0.7 g

2.7 g

Vitamin A equiv.
508 μg
5854 μg
13610 μg
Thiamine (B1)
0.19 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.26 mg
Niacin (B3)
0.806 mg
0.084 mg
Vitamin B6
0.251 mg
Folate (B9)
27 μg
35.3 mg
Vitamin C
35 mg
Vitamin E
3.44 mg
Vitamin K
778.4 μg

Trace metals
187 mg
3.1 mg
36 mg
0.342 mg
66 mg
397 mg
76 mg
0.41 mg

The leaves on the flowering stalk confused me a little initially. But the Basal leaves are very Dandelion-like, but with fine teethy edges. I'll try to take some photos tomorrow

Personally, I think paying for Dandelion (and ilk) leaves or flowers is a little bit daft. But that's just me, hey.

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