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Sow thistle

Sow thistle is a really useful plant for rabbits. There are many varieties (e.g. Sonchus oleraceus, Sonchus arvensis, Sonchus asper) and none are poisonous. Some varieties have smooth leaves and others are prickly. All varieties are a favourite food with a long growing season. Sow thistle used to be grown in warrens to feed the inhabitants on in winter. The plants exude a milky substance from cut stems or leaves. Sow thistle often grows on newly turned soil, on waste ground or in crevices along pavements or walls. The plants can be tall- up to 1.5m high and all have prickly looking leaves and yellow flowers.