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London rocket is one of the first weeds to appear in the winter time in southern Arizona and disappears again once the climate turns hot. It is found predominately in small grains, citrus orchards, roadsides, and gardens in Arizona. London rocket is an extremely competitive winter weed and usually grows to be 2 feet tall and begins flowering in December through May.
The milk thistle is a weed native to the Mediterranean region. It can be found in most areas in southern Arizona, most commonly in the Salt River Valley. It has a stout stem with rigid branching with a reddish purple flowering heads. Milk thistles grow along roadsides, irrigation ditches, waste areas, and has potential to invade large areas of pasture land in Maricopa, Gila, Pinal, Pima, and Cochise counties. Once the weed has established, it forms thick clumps excluding more desirable forage plants. They do have some toxic properties when growing in fertile soil; however it is not common enough in Arizona to cause poisoning. Milk thistles flower mostly from April through June.
Spiny Sow Thistle
Spiny Sowthistles are common weeds growing in urban areas of the Arizona deserts. It is a European weed that is abundant and serious in the southern part of the state. The sowthistle is commonly mistaken for the dandelion due to the similarities in the flowering buds. The main difference is the reddish prickly long stem reaching up to 5ft high. Their growth rate depends on the amount of rain received in winter and spring; the more rain we receive, the more they grow. Then spiny sowthistle is a pest in winter vegetable crops, orchards, lawns, waste areas, pavement, along stream and creek banks. By the time comes along, most of the thistles have dried up, however some will survive, grow, and bloom throughout the year.