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Tall Blue Lettuce, Woodland Lettuce

[Lactuca floridana (L.) Gaertner]

Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

first year rosette

▲▼ plants starting to produce flowering stems

▲ plants becoming quite tall (6-8 feet) before starting to flower

▲▼ inflorescence clusters at tip of plant

▲▼ flower and flower bud details

▲▼stem leaves

Woodland Lettuce, Tall Blue Lettuce (Lactuca floridana):

         Very tall, unbranched winter or summer annual plant with lobed leaves ending in a broad, triangular point

         Grows 4-8 feet tall or taller

         Has tiny blue-white flowers, and bracts surrounding flowers often end in a purplish tip

         Lobed leaves end in rounded triangular lobe; similar Tall Lettuce (described below) has leaves that end in  a narrow, tapering point

         Leaves not spiny on midvein underneath, as with prickly lettuce

         Has milky sap

         Native to Missouri; found in open woods, roadsides; not usually a serious weed problem

         Another species called tall blue lettuce, but with a different scientific name (Lactuca biennis) is very similar to woodland lettuce, but is a more northern-occurring species and can only be distinguished by the number of florets per head inflorescence:

o   Lactuca floridana has 10-15 florets per inflorescence

o   Lactuca biennis has 15-25 florets per inflorescence

 

 

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