Perennial sowthistle is
a native of western Asia and Europe. It is common in cultivated areas,
ditch banks, meadows, and neglected areas.
is erect, stout, smooth, and unbranched except at the top.
Upper leaves sessile and often unlobed, while lower leaves
are considered short-petioled, and lobed. Leaves are alternate
and light green; lower leaves can be 6 inches to 1 foot
long, deeply cut, while upper leaves are slightly toothed.
Perennial sowthistle can grow anywhere from 4 to 6 feet
tall, reproducing by seeds and horizontal roots. Rhizomes,
horizontal underground stems, measure < 1 cm in diameter,
usually 5-12 cm below the soil surface, and grow about 2
m or more in a single
growing season. One reason perennial sowthistle can
survive cold temperatures is due to the fact that the roots
can overwinter and survive temperatures to -16º C.