Lactuca floridana (L.) Gaertn. - Wild Lettuce
Family - Asteraceae
Flowering - August into the winter.
Habitat - Woodlands, roadsides, ditches, typically in mesic conditions.
Origin - Native to North America.
Other information - This species can be found scattered throughout Alabama. The plant is easy to identify because of its glabrous stems, blue flowers, and pure-white milky sap. When not in flower, this species can be differentiated from the similar L. canadensis L. by the color of the sap. The sap of L. canadensis is light- salmon pink in color. All plants in this genus have edible (if not just a touch bitter) young leaves. Lactuca sativa L. is the common lettuce of cultivation.
Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 10-25-99, and in Brown Summit, NC., 9-21-02.