Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated February 2018.
Scientific name: Lactuca canadensis L.
Common name(s): Canada lettuce, wild lettuce, tall lettuce
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– annual or biennial
– leaf appearance is variable
-flower head consists of ray flowers
– can be confused with tall blue lettuce (L. biennis), especially when not in bloom; see left sidebar of Go Botany webpage. Can also hybridize with L. biennis; see Flora Novae Angliae information at bottom of Go Botany webpage.
-meadows and fields
-edible when young raw or boiled
–Native Americans used this to treat pain, calm, and stimulant the body
-the milky sap was used as a topically to skin irritations and lesions
Haines, A., Farnsworth, E., Morrison, G., & New England Wild Flower Society. (2011). New England Wildflower Society’s Flora Novae Angliae: A manual for the identification of native and naturalized higher vascular plants of New England. Framingham, MA: New England Wild Flower Society. p. 415.
Go Botany. “Lactuca Canadensis L.” Lactuca Canadensis (Tall Lettuce): Go Botany, 2021, gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org/species/lactuca/canadensis/.