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Harmless weed or garden thug?

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  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,076
    Judging by the deep colour and dark centres I would say it looks more like Cupidone - catananche caerulea. I find it difficult to tell two apart though as the flower colour of both can vary. Trouble is, that broad leaf doesn’t look right for cupidone either!
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,424
    Whatever it is, if you don't like it or have too much of it, just grub out the plants you don't want and remove the spent flower heads of any you keep so that they don't self seed all over the place.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,126
    It (Lactuca macrophylla) is perennial and has horizontal rhizomes which help the clumps to spread, so you'll need to get those out (or use a systemic weedkiller) to permanently get rid of any clumps you don't want.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • a1154a1154 Posts: 875
    Definitely common blue sowthistle, and pretty thuggy. It’s a real shame as the flower is lovely, but it’s not meant for a border, spreads too much. 
  • BijdezeeBijdezee BPosts: 1,484
    Good to see its been id'd. I did doubt the chicory theory anyway. Didn't know there was a blue sow thistle. Not in my wildflower books. You learn something new every day. Thanks
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 16,975
    Who'd of thought it! I have perennial sow thistle in my vegetable garden and it has yellow flowers and the leaves are completely different. I spent ages digging up the roots this spring and there are still some left. Wonder why the blue one is called "common"? I've never seen it before either.

    When I posted the chicory leaf photo, it was for info, I didn't actually think it was chicory, the leaves had smooth edges, not prickly looking ones.
    Dordogne and Norfolk

  • Thanks for all the help and comments. I have never seen it before but been battling with it for about 4 years now and this year it has taken off!
    some serious digging to be done I think!
    Thanks everyone 😊
  • We bought a house and inherited common blue sow-thistle in the borders, it is an absolute nightmare and has been allowed to spread over the years. I have spent my entire summer digging it out and yet little plants are still appearing. The rhizomes are everywhere, I dig them out where I see them and all the roots but then more appear.  Am I doing the best thing to eradicate them? Help!
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