Description:
A erect plant with an annual rosette of large, broad leaves with indented bases and long flowering stems with compact seed heads and a perennial, carrot like rootstock. It flowers from September to January and has fruit with spined wings and 3 warts or tubercles
As A Soil Indicator:
Very low Calcium, Very low Phosphorus, Very high Potassium, High Manganese, High Iron, High Copper, High Zinc, Little bacteria, High Salt, High Aluminium levels, low drainage
Life cycle:
Annual top and perennial rootstock. Seeds germinate mainly in autumn and spring and form a rosette and rootstock over winter. Around the 5 leaf stage the upper part of the root contracts pulling the crown deeper into the soil. Some may produce flowering stems in the summer. Top growth dies over summer leaving the perennial rootstock in the soil. Most spring germinating seedlings die. Shoots emerge from rootstocks in autumn and quickly form a large rosette that shades and crowds neighbouring plants. Flower stems emerge in late spring to early summer and form seed over summer. The stems and top growth dies off in summer or autumn though some rosette leaves may persist in summer moist areas.
Beneficial:
Used in herbal medicine for rubbing on skin to neutralise stinging nettle and other skin irritations
Detrimental:
it is often strongly competitive
Toxicity:
May contain potentially toxic amounts of oxalate that could lead to oxalate poisoning but it is rarely a problem in the field.

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