Lactuca floridana (L.) Gaertn. - Wild Lettuce

Lactuca floridana plant

Family - Asteraceae

Stems:

N/A

Leaves:

Lactuca floridana leaves

Lactuca floridana leaves

Inflorescence:

N/A

Involucre:

Lactuca floridana involucre

Ray flowers:

Lactuca floridana flowers

Disk flowers:

N/A

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.

Alabama Distribution:

Lactuca floridana map

Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 10-25-99, and in Brown Summit, NC., 9-21-02.


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