Scientific NameLactuca sativa
Synonyms (former Scientific Names):
Lactuca scariola var. integrata
Lactuca sativa is an upright non-woody herb. It can reach a height of 3ft.
The leaves are arranged in a basal rosette. They are typically about 15cm long and green. The leaf edges are usually entire (no lobes).
There are many different cultivars of Garden lettuce due to its ability to be a food crop. These different cultivate may have different characteristics (stiff or lobed leaves). Unlike other members of the Lactuca genus, the mid ribs of Latuca sativa are usually not prickly. Like other members of the Lactuca genus it emits a milky sap.
Flower Seed Head
The flowers are usually yellow, sometimes with a streak of purple. If grown as a crop you do not want the plant to flower or "bolt" because this usually means the crop will have a bitter or undesirable taste.
Seed heads are achenes (small dry fruits with one seed that do not split open). They have white beaks that attach to the achenes.
While it can be considered a weed, it is commonly a crop planted for food.
upright and nonwoody
Thorns or Spines
Approximate Flower Diameter
Dominant Flower Color
Stem Cross Section
round or oval