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Florida Lettuce Lactuca floridana

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
lak-TOO-kuh flor-ih-DAY-na
Description

Florida Lettuce is an annual/biennial herb native to eastern and central USA and is found in all areas if NC.  In the wild, it is self-seeding. The stem can reach 6 feet tall and bears an inflorescence with many flower heads containing 10-20 blue or white ray florets but has no disc florets. The leaves are edible but bitter in taste and resemble dandelion leaves. It is best to use young leaves raw in salads and cook the older leaves.

This plant prefers moist fertile soil in shade to partial shade. 

 

More information on Lactuca.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#annual#biennial#weedy#blue flowers#NC native#edible leaves
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#annual#biennial#weedy#blue flowers#NC native#edible leaves
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Lactuca
    Species:
    floridana
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Biennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central & Eastern Canada to U.S.A
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MI , MO , MS , NC , NE , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , WI , WV
    Edibility:
    Leaves can be eaten but are bitter
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit is a flattened short-beaked achene featuring white fluffy bristles to float in the wind.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Loose panicles of 10-20 ray flowers are 1/2 inch across and light blue to nearly white.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaf is generally deeply-lobed, pinnately veined, leaves are 3-10" long and 1-4" wide. Leaf has pointed tips, toothed margins and tapered bases
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Tall purplish-green stems with a white milky sap
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Pond
    Riparian
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Problems:
    Weedy