Thistle identification?

ridgetop01 (zone 5b)(z5 CNY)

I have 2 kinds of thistles growing wild, pictures attached. One gets about 5-6' and is very prickly with white hairs on the undersides of the leaves - it's the smaller plant in the pictures and is the last picture - and I'm guessing it might be a bull thistle (cirsium vulgare)? The other is a newcomer, is about 3' in a shady spot with smooth shiny leaves (on both top and bottom of leaves) and not really prickly at all, and it's about ready to flower, I have no idea what this is and have attached 2 pictures of it. Can anyone ID these for me? I was just reading an interesting article from the Xerces society at this link:

https://xerces.org/native-thistle-guide/

and would like to be able to differentiate. Thanks!


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's been a long time. Perhaps you have already identified them. I think the smooth one with no spines is a Sonchus species, or milk thistle, and should have yellow flowers. I'm not quite sure what species of thistle the prickly one is, but it doesn't look like a bull thistle which is even more thorny. If you would like a more accurate i.d. you can post these on the Name That Plant forum, and you should get a quick answer. The smooth plant Sonchus should have a milky sap when the stem is broken.

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ridgetop01 (zone 5b)(z5 CNY)

Thank you for your info! The smooth leaved one broke off in a wind so I will have to wait for another one to id it. I will pursue info on the other.

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Top two look like common Sonchus oleraceus. It is easily distinguished by the soft, glossy, fleshy leaves and milky sap. They have yellow flowers. The third photo shows a different species which presents the tough foliage of typical thistles and will not have the white sap. The flowers will be pink or purple or, in some species, occasionally white.

btw Milk Thistle usually refers to Silybum marianum, rather than Sonchus species.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Floral,thanks for clarifying that common name error. I guess I've heard Sonchus called sow thistle, and I somehow got the 2 names confused, and the milky, white sap might have contributed. I,m growing thistle species native to my area, for the wildlife, and because they are awesome. The natives are'nt as thorny as the aliens, like bull thistle, which is comparable to an Opuntia in my opinion.

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