Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Lapsana communis
common nipplewort

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington, but more often west of the crest; Alaska to California, east across much of North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Disturbed areas including roadsides, wastelots, fields, and forest edge.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Flies


Erect annual, 1.5-15 dm. tall, the single stem with short, stiff, blunt hairs or nearly glabrous, the juice milky.


Leaves thin, alternate, petiolate, with ovate to sub-rotund blade, shallowly toothed, 2.5-10 cm. long and 2-7 cm. wide, reduced, narrowed and less petiolate upward.


Heads several in an open inflorescence, the peduncles pale and hardened next to the head; involucres 5-8 mm. high, with 8 narrow, sub-equal, firm, keeled bracts that remain erect at maturity; corollas all ligulate, perfect, yellow, about 13; pappus none.


Achene 3-5 mm. long, sub-terete, curved, glabrous, narrowed at both ends.

Accepted Name:
Lapsana communis L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 811. 1753. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Lapsana communis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Lapsana communis checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Lapsana communis information.

E-Flora BC: Lapsana communis atlas page.

CalPhotos: Lapsana communis photos.

USDA Plants: Lapsana communis information.

25 photographs:
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