prickly lettuce

(Lactuca serriola)

Conservation Status
prickly lettuce
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNA - Not applicable

SNA - Not applicable

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

     
  Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Prickly lettuce is an erect annual or biennial with a thick, deep taproot. The stems and leaves contain a white milky latex.

The stems are unbranched except in the inflorescence. They are leafy and hairless, often with prickles near the bottom.

The leaves are alternate, stalkless, blue-green, and usually lobed. The basal lobes are angular and clasp the stem. They are up to 12 long and 4 wide near the base, becoming smaller as they ascend the stems. They are hairless but have prickles on the leaf margin. The midvein on the underside also has prickles. The leaves are often oriented in a flat, north-south plane.

The inflorescence is a long, spreading, cone-shaped, loosely-branched cluster with 13 to 27, usually 18 to 24, yellow flowers.

The flower heads are about across and have 12 to 20 yellow ray florets. The rays have truncated tips with 5 small teeth. They dry to a bluish-white.

The fruit is a pale grayish to tan achene with fluffy, white bristles attached to the tip.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

1 to 5

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Yellow, drying to bluish-white

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

The blue species of Lactuca are extremely variable and identifying characteristics overlap, factors which, taken together, make the species difficult to separate.

Showy blue lettuce (Lactuca tatarica ssp. pulchella) has large, showy flower heads that measure, ¾ across. There are no prickles on the midvein on the underside.

Tall blue lettuce (Lactuca biennis) has bluish to white flowers. The achene has grayish-brown bristles attached to the tip. There are no prickles on the midvein on the underside.

Woodland lettuce (Lactuca floridana var. floridana) has light blue flowers. There are no prickles on the midvein on the underside.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Roadsides, disturbed sites.

 
     
 
Ecology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

July to September

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 22, 24,28.

 
  11/1/2019      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native to Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and the Indian subcontinent. Introduced and naturalized in North America.

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Superorder Asteranae  
 

Order

Asterales (sunflowers, bellflowers, fanflowers, and allies)  
 

Family

Asteraceae (sunflowers, daisies, asters, and allies)  
  Subfamily Cichorioideae (chicories, dandelions, and allies)  
  Tribe Cichorieae  
  Subtribe Lactucinae  
  Genus Lactuca (lettuce)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Lactuca scariola

Lactuca virosa

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Canada wild lettuce

China lettuce

compass-plant

horse-thistle

milk-thistle

prickly lettuce

wild lettuce

wild opium

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Achene

A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded fruit, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.

 

Clasping

Describing a leaf that wholly or partly surrounds the stem but does not fuse at the base.

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  prickly lettuce    
       
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Other Videos
 
  2014 4K Lactuca serriola C0041-23
Nature Documentaries
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 11, 2014

26 May 2014, Athens, GA. Lactuca serriola plant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactuca_serriola
C0041
C0023

   
       
  Wild Lettuce: Lactuca Virosa And Serriola With Garden
Nihilisticage
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 7, 2013

My garden with close ups of the wild lettuce (a.k.a opium lettuce). Lactuca virosa and lactuca serriola are shown. Lactucarium can be extracted from these plants. Enjoy the video

   
       
  Prickly Lettuce (Lactusa Serriola) - 2012-07-28
W3stlander
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 30, 2012

Prickly Lettuce (Lactuca serriola) is an annual or biennial plant, slightly foetid, that is commonly considered a weed of orchards, roadsides and field crops. The closest wild relative of cultivated lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), it grows throughout the temperate regions of all major continents.

--------------------
De kompassla of Wilde sla (Lactuca serriola) is een een- of tweejarige plant uit de composietenfamilie (Compositae oftewel Asteraceae).

   
       
  Weed of the Week #807 - Prickly Lettuce (Air Date 9/22/13)
AgPhD's channel
 
   
 
About

Published on Oct 1, 2013

It's our Weed of the Week, Prickly Lettuce.

   
       
  Wild Edibles with Sergei & Valya Boutenko - Purple thistle or prickly lettuce
RawFoodAcademy
   
   
 
About

Uploaded on Oct 9, 2008

http://www.RawFood.nl/ and http://www.RawFoodAcademy.com/

Two days ago Sergei Boutenko gave a wild edibles class in "het Vondelpark" in Amsterdam, Holland. Here you see the part about the purple thistle or prickly lettuce. Did you know, that you can make a green smoothie with it or eat the inside of the stem in a salad? For the complete 60 minute video, in which Sergei shows about 20 wild edibles outside in the parc, go to www.RawFoodAcademy.com.

   
       

 

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