prickly lettuce

(Lactuca serriola)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

prickly lettuce

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

Nativity

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

 
Occurrence

Common

 
Habitat

Roadsides, disturbed sites.

 
Flowering

July to September

     
Flower Color

Yellow, drying to bluish-white

     
Height

1 to 5

     

Identification

This 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.

 
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.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 22, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Asteraceae (aster)

 

Subfamily:

Cichorioideae

 

Tribe:

Cichorieae

 

Subtribe:

Lactucinae

 
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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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.

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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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