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These pictures are of one type of plant. I thought it was dandelion but I don't think it is. The edges are smooth but irregular and I have eaten this. I am desperate to find the identification before feeding to my livestock.. Thankyou!
Sonchus oleraceous is one of the most common plants with considerable variation but texture is unmistakable. Tear a leaf and see milky latex coming out. When it produces stems the leaf base would have conspicuous amplexicaule base with pointed bases
LadyH - Do you recall what the blossoms were like? If they were dandelion-like then it is a member of the Composite Family. If the plant had 4-part flowers then it is a member of the Mustard Family. Leaf shape alone will not resolve this issue. Brassicas have a seemingly endless number of forms, and there are the Barbareas (Cress), the Erucas (Arugula) and many others. Do the plants produce a thick rootstock like a turnip or radish? Less likely, did the flowers occur in unbrels like Queen Anne's Lace? Could certainly be Sonchus oleraceous but it differs from what grows in my yard. At any rate, it is likely an edible plant, as your survival testifies to.
It had yellow flowers that turned to the blow stuff just like a dandelion did but the leaves didn't look like dandelion leaves... The leaves are smooth, the ends are just uneven not sharp..I've seen pictures of milk weed and it doesn't look like that. It does have a milky substance in the stem when it is cut. I want to feed to livestock but am hesitant because I don't know what it definitely is... I don't want to poison them. The second picture above is what I took off and put on the counter to get a better picture
Based on your description of the flowers, seeds and sap it is sounding more and more like Sonchus, which is quite edible for (Wo)man and beast. Looks like Singhg45 got it from the git-go. Feed it to your family, friends, neighbors, livestock...
Yes Lactuca is another good choice. If the dandelion like stuff that flew off (they are fruits of type achene or more correctly Cypsella) had a long narrow neck almost as long as body, it surely would be Lactuca, if no neck it could be Sonchus. Of ourse it is not dandelion (Taraxacum).
I still go with Sonchus unless more photographs of stem, flowers or fruits (conclusive in Compositae...In fact I had published a paper for identifying Indian species of Compositae entirely on the basis of fruits, in 1972). This should be helpful in final decision. The basal leaves look very much similar.
The lactuca doesn't look like it and the sonchus is almost but too skinny leaves... The plant is not very tall maybe 6" max. I have searched and searched pictures online and nothing seems to match... This is so frustrating LOL
No dear vngarden,
Please read the statement of ladyh above "It had yellow flowers that turned to the blow stuff just like a dandelion did but..." and earlier " It does have a milky substance in the stem when it is cut."
Moreover, it does not look like crucifer.
steadycam3 - I was also brought up to think that plants with milky sap should not be eaten but Maori here in New Zealand eat Puha, which I would have called Milk thistle, regularly - apparently one or two Sonchus species qualify as Puha.
Thanks, we are finally reaching the conclusion. In fact the plant grows so commonly in both my home Kashmir and my place of work Delhi, to mistake an thing else for it. In fact I have photographed it repeatedly (must be having more than 100 photographs) to find the real difference between S. oleraceous and S. asper, because the characters often used in books/floras don't help to be helping much, including the leaf base and leaf margin.
I wish ladyH clicks the plant in flower to clear all doubts. We ran through so many options. Luckily I had seen all suggested options in plenty to take a considered decision.