Range: Quebec and Ontario to Michigan, southward to Pennsylvania and New Jersey; also on the Pacific Coast. Habitat: Fields, roadsides, and waste places.
Fig. 359.- Blessed Thistle (Cnicus benedictus). X 1/4.
Fig. 360. - Nipplewort (Lapsana communis). X 1/3.
Nipplewort is nearly related to Chicory, and, like that plant, is used as a salad in its European home, though not grown for the purpose but instead considered a troublesome weed in cultivated fields. (Fig. 360.)
Stem one to four feet high, slender, and much branched, smooth above but bristly-hairy near the base, all parts of the plant containing a somewhat bitter, milky juice. Lower leaves usually lyrate, the terminal segment being very large with shallow-toothed or wavy edge, but the lateral lobes very small, often mere pointed wings to the petiole; upper leaves sessile and few, usually entire. Heads very numerous, few-flowered, each about a quarter-inch broad, composed all of perfect and fertile golden yellow ray florets, growing in loosely branched clusters on very slender pedicels; involucre cylindric, formed of a row of smooth linear bracts surrounded at base by a very few short outer ones. Achenes very small, pale brown, and without a pappus.
Prevent seed production by cutting closely as soon as the first flowers appear and repeating the treatment as the plants recover and form new buds.