Herbs and Other Plant Species of the World's Boreal Forests

World Boreal Trees

Terminology | Pictorial

Lactuca serriola
Prickly Lettuce
Asteraceae (Aster Family)

A dandelion-like weed growing to a height of 60 - 150 cm.

Prickly Lettuce Description

Distinguishing Features - Leaves: 5 - 30 cm long, oblong, lobed or unlobed, prickly-edged, bristly on undersurface along midrib, clasping the stem at base; often set on edge and oriented in one plane. Flowers: small, yellow, 6 mm wide, usually with 16 to 24 ray flowers; disk flowers absent. Fruit: dry, single-seeded, with white bristles that aid seed dispersal.


Native of Europe but now naturalized throughout Canada andthe United States; roadsides and waste places; thrives on nutrient rich soils.


The cultivated lettuce, Lactuca sativa is said to have been cultivated from the wild Prickly Lettuce.

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