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Monterey Bay Spice Company

Bulk Herbs & Spices

Wild Lettuce
shopping: one variety
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OUT OF STOCK (ETA 7/20/2017)
Out of stock
$14.00 
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OUT OF STOCK (ETA 7/20/2017)
Out of stock
$5.60 
Lactuca quercina

wild lettuce

plant overview
prickly outside, milky inside

Although wild lettuce is related to the variety of garden lettuce commonly used for sandwiches and salad, it differs considerably in appearance and other characteristics. Also known as prickly lettuce, this tooth-leaved member of the aster family looks more like a weed candidate than lunch. What the herb lacks in ornamental or culinary appeal is compensated by the milky latex found in its leaves and stems. While wild lettuce is sometimes used in tea blends, it is more commonly used topically or is tinctured.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
Wild lettuce herb
01.
A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on wild lettuce

description
Lactuca quercina is a wild annual or biennial flower in the Asteraceae family.

Wild lettuce as it is commonly called, will grow to heights of a little over 3 feet. The root is tuberous, simple or branched from which is produced a weak green stem. This stem is erect, branched in the upper part, and glabrous (free from hair; smooth).

The plant's leaves are pinnate or toothed. Its basal leaves are obovate or lyrate, pinnate-lobed to pinnatifid, narrowed into a long petiole. Its middle and upper cauline leaves are sessile (attached directly without stalk); also ovate to lanceolate, non-lobed to pinnatisect with 2-9 pairs of lobes, cordate-sagittate at base, and all thin in texture.

Wild lettuce bracts are linear lanceolate, and roughly 10-11 mm. in length, featuring an obtuse apex and scarious margins, and often with small backwards orientated appendages and anthocyanin (blue, violet) spots. Heads of 8 (11-15) 22 florets. Ligules are yellow, longer than the involucre. Achenes are obovate, at around 7-8 mm in length. Blooms are yellow.

The entire plant is rich in a milky sap that will freely flow any wounds the plant receives. The sap will dry and harden in contact with air.

common names & nomenclature
This plant is related to the common garden lettuce, which gives way to the common name wild lettuce.

Also known as:
wild lettuce, lettuce opium

02.
Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting wild lettuce

climate
Wild lettuce grows in woodland gardens, woodland edges, and scrub areas in sun to part shade.

soil
Prefers a light sandy loam that is nitrogen-rich and moist.

growing
Sow seeds in spring directly into the garden soil and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly quick.

harvesting
Harvest the plant in the summer when it is in flower, dry for later use.

preserving
Store dried wild lettuce herb in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

03.
Where in the World
habitat and range for wild lettuce

Lactuca quercina, or wild lettuce, is native to Europe.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
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