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Common sowthistle (Sonchus oleraceus)

Tempuyung or common sowthistle (Sonchus oleraceus) is a species of plant in Asteraceae, an annual shrub with erect stems, 10-125 cm high, hollow, five-angled, branched, dark green and sometimes with a reddish purple tinge, grows in full sun and tolerates mostly soil conditions.

S. oleraceus has leaves oblong, oblong-ovate or lyrate, base sagittate, basal auricles usually with a tooth obliquely pointing downwards, margins very acutely irregular dentate, teeth not pungent, apex acute or rarely rounded and glaucous on the lower surface.

Dlium Common sowthistle (Sonchus oleraceus)


Lowermost radical, more or less narrowed into a petiole, pinnatifidpinnati-partite with irregular, acutely aciculate-dentate lobes and often with a triangular or ovate acute terminal lobe. Peduncle 1-5 cm long.

The flowers are yellow or white, sitting on stalks at the ends of branches in irregular terminal panicles with main axes and lateral branches further forked and each axis ending in a flower or bud and having or not having hair.

Involucre 8-9 mm long. Phyllaries obtuse, glabrous or with very few gland-hairs. Corolla 1 cm long, light-yellow or white and sometimes tinged with purple. Fruitachene, 2.5-4 mm by 1 mm, brown, 3-ribbed on each face, wrinkled with narrow margins and compressed and obovoid in shape. Seedslight with white parachutes of silky hairs. Pappus 5-8 mm long.

Common sowthistle grows in most soil types, fields, meadows, roadsides, parks and yards, vacant lots, construction sites and trash cans in subtropical and tropical climates with altitudes of 500-1600 meters.



Tempuyung is used as a vegetable that is cooked or eaten raw as a salad, treating various kinds of infections, diseases and other medicinal uses. Sedatives, diuretics, salmonella infections, anemia, eye problems, liver infections and as a remedy for opium addiction.

Plants contain 30-40 mg of vitamin C per 100g, 1.2% protein, 0.3% fat, 2.4% carbohydrates. The leaf dry weight analysis per 100g contains 45g carbohydrates, 28g protein, 22g ash, 5.9g fiber, 4.5g fat and overall provides 265 calories.

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Cichorioideae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Subtribe: Hyoseridinae
Genus: Sonchus
Species: Sonchus oleraceus
Varieties: Sonchus oleraceus var. littoralis, Sonchus oleraceus var. oleraceus

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