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Lactuca canadensis

Lactuca canadensis L.

Lactuca canadensis L. var. integrifolia (Bigelow) Torr. & A. Gray

Lactuca canadensis L. var. latifolia Kuntze

Lactuca canadensis L. var. longifolia (Michx.) Farw.

Lactuca canadensis L. var. obovata Wiegand

Lactuca canadensis L. var. typica Wiegand

Lactuca sagittifolia Elliot

Lactuca steelei Britton

Wild Lettuce, Canada Lettuce

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderAsteralesFlowering plants with a central disk flower and surrounding petals, like daisies
FamilyAsteraceaeThe aster family, which also includes daisies and sunflowers; from the Greek ἀστήρ, “star,” for the star-shaped flowers
GenusLactucaFrom lacta, Latin for “milk,” referring to the milky sap in stem, and a root word for lactic acid
Speciescanadensis“Of or referring to Canada”

About plant names...

Wild lettuce is a widespread North American native.

Identification: Plants are 4-10' (1.2-3 m) tall, with stems that are green or spotted with purple. The latex from a broken stem is brown. Leaves vary greatly in shape, and may resemble the shape of a sickle, or long and narrow, or wider and deep lobes. They are 6-14" (15-35 cm) long. At the top, large cone-shaped panicles consisting of 50-100 flowers appear. Individual flowers are about ¼" (8.5 mm) around, with 15-22 florets (tiny petals) each. They are yellow, pinkish-orange, or reddish. The achenes (seeds) are small and brown, each with a “parachute” attached, like dandelions.

 

Lactuca canadensis (Wild Lettuce, Canada Lettuce)

6/22/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 21 × 31" (52 × 78 cm)

Lactuca canadensis (Wild Lettuce, Canada Lettuce)

6/15/2012 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Lactuca canadensis (Wild Lettuce, Canada Lettuce)

7/15/2012 · Gordon and Kathy’s, Prospect, ME
≈ 12 × 17" (29 × 44 cm)

Some Lactuca species:

 
Lactuca biennis
You are here
Lactuca canadensis

Lactuca serriola
Common Name

Tall Blue Lettuce

Wild Lettuce

Prickly Lettuce
Plant Tall blue lettuce grows up to 6' (1.8 m) high. 4-10' (1.2-3 m) tall, with stems that are green or spotted with purple. The latex from a broken stem is brown. Erect, 12-79" (30-200 cm) tall. Stems sometimes have stiff hairs near the bottom; stems and leaves have a milky sap when cut.
Flowers Blue, about ¼-½" (6.3-12 mm) across, in crowded clusters at the top. At the top, large cone-shaped panicles consisting of 50-100 flowers appear. Individual flowers are about ¼" (8.5 mm) around, with 15-22 florets (tiny petals) each. They are yellow, pinkish-orange, or reddish. In panicles that form open, roughly conical clusters of flowers. Flowers are ⅜-½" (1-1.5 cm) in diameter, and have 13-27 florets (petals) each. Flowers appear July-September.
Leaves Leaves are deeply divided, like those of dandelions, but while dandelion leaves are roughly the same width along their length, these are more triangular in overall shape. They are up to 12" (30 cm) long and 6" (15 cm) wide at the base, tapering to sharp tips. Leaves are hairy, undersides more so. Vary greatly in shape, and may resemble the shape of a sickle, or long and narrow, or wider and deep lobes. They are 6-14" (15-35 cm) long. Alternate, 1¾-12" (5-30 cm) long and ⅜-4" (1-10 cm) wide. The mid-ribs of leaves have prickers along the bottom. Typically leaves are deeply lobed.
Fruit   Achenes (seeds) are small and brown, each with a “parachute” attached, like dandelions. ⅛" (3 mm) long, single-seeded, lance-shaped, attached to a “parachute” like dandelions.
Range/ Zones

Habitats Redwood forest, wetlands Woodland margins, clearings, near the edges of water, roadsides, pastures. Grasslands, seasonal wetlands, orchards, vineyards, urban places, roadsides, disturbed habitats.
Type Wild Wild Wild
Occurrence Common Common Common

 

Edibility: Leaves are edible when cooked, but not especially desirable.

Online References:

Lactuca canadensis on Keir Morse's site, Keirosity.com

Lactuca canadensis at Illinois Wildflowers

Lactuca canadensis on Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses

Lactuca canadensis on Wildflowers of the United States

Lactuca canadensis on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Lactuca canadensis at the Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site

Lactuca canadensis on Delaware Wildflowers

Lactuca canadensis on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network

Lactuca canadensis on eFloras

Lactuca canadensis (Wild Lettuce, Canada Lettuce)

7/9/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 12 × 17" (29 × 44 cm)

Lactuca canadensis (Wild Lettuce, Canada Lettuce)

7/9/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm)

Lactuca canadensis (Wild Lettuce, Canada Lettuce)

6/26/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm) ID is uncertain

Lactuca canadensis (Wild Lettuce, Canada Lettuce)

9/13/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 16 × 24" (41 × 62 cm) ID is uncertain

Lactuca canadensis (Wild Lettuce, Canada Lettuce)

8/28/2012 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Lactuca canadensis (Wild Lettuce, Canada Lettuce)

9/13/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 16 × 24" (41 × 62 cm) ID is uncertain

Lactuca canadensis (Wild Lettuce, Canada Lettuce)

8/28/2012 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 9 × 14" (23 × 35 cm) ID is uncertain

Lactuca canadensis description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 12 Nov 2013.

© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.


 

Lactuca canadensis (Wild Lettuce, Canada Lettuce)

6/15/2012 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 4½ × 7" (11 × 17 cm)

Lactuca canadensis (Wild Lettuce, Canada Lettuce)

8/28/2012 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 9 × 14" (23 × 35 cm) ID is uncertain

Lactuca canadensis (Wild Lettuce, Canada Lettuce)

7/15/2012 · Gordon and Kathy’s, Prospect, ME
≈ 15 × 10" (39 × 26 cm)

Lactuca canadensis (Wild Lettuce, Canada Lettuce)

6/26/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm) ID is uncertain

Lactuca canadensis (Wild Lettuce, Canada Lettuce)

8/11/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm) ID is uncertain

Lactuca canadensis (Wild Lettuce, Canada Lettuce)

6/26/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 12 × 17" (29 × 44 cm) ID is uncertain

Lactuca canadensis (Wild Lettuce, Canada Lettuce)

7/9/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Lactuca canadensis (Wild Lettuce, Canada Lettuce)

6/22/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 21 × 31" (52 × 78 cm)

Range:

About this map...