Lapsana communis (Common Nipplewort)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle:annual
Origin:Europe, Asia
  • Weedy
Habitat:part shade, shade; roadsides, waste areas
Bloom season:June - September
Plant height:1 to 4 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FAC MW: FACU NCNE: FACU
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 7+petals Cluster type: panicle

[photo of flowers] Yellow dandelion type flower heads on long slender stalks in an airy panicle on many branching stems. Each flower is ¼ to ½ inch across and has 8 to 20 ray flowers (petals), with 5 teeth at the tip, and several styles split near the tip. Bracts are smooth and narrow.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: lobed Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are 1 to 4 inches long, ¾ to 2½ inches wide, sparsely hairy especially along veins on the underside, with irregular, shallow teeth and slightly wavy edges. Lower leaves are generally egg-shaped with a pair of distinct small lobes at the base, on long, hairy, slightly winged stalks. Leaves near the flowers are smaller, sparse, less toothed, unlobed and more lance-like, with little or no leaf stalk. Stems are bristly hairy near the base, becoming smooth in the upper plant.


Nipplewort has become widely cosmopolitan throughout the Americas and Asia due to human activity. A sporadic weed of cultivated gardens and disturbed areas, it does not encroach readily into high grade habitats and is likely under reported within Minnesota.

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More photos

Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk, taken at a former commercial garden center in Anoka county.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Lexi - Sherburne County
on: 2011-06-23 13:09:27

Found 5 or 6 plants in my yard in an area we haven't cut the grass for a while. We live in a sandy soil area, and have lots of oaks.

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