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Lactuca canadensis (Canada lettuce)
Lynn, Janice

Lactuca canadensis

Lactuca canadensis L.

Canada Lettuce, Wild Lettuce

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Lactuca canadensis var. integrifolia, Lactuca canadensis var. latifolia, Lactuca canadensis var. longifolia, Lactuca canadensis var. obovata, Lactuca canadensis var. typica, Lactuca sagittifolia, Lactuca steelei


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Tall plant with elongated cluster of small pale yellow flower heads; foliage exudes milky juice when crushed; slight bloom present on stem and leaves. "Latex brownish". (Bibref: 281).

This rather large biennial is frequently found in disturbed sites. Its flowers are insignificant, and the leaves lack the spines of the similar Prickly Lettuce (L. serriola). Young leaves can be used in salads or as cooked greens, but have a slightly bitter taste.


From the Image Gallery

11 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Biennial
Habit: Herb
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Margin: Lobed
Inflorescence: Panicle , Terminal
Flower: Flowers 1/3 inch
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AL , AR , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: BC , MB , NB , NS , ON , PE , QC , SK
Native Distribution: Throughout much of North America, except far north.
Native Habitat: Clearings, thickets, and edges of woods.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade


Use Food: Young leaves can be used in salads or as cooked greens, but have a slightly bitter taste. (Niering).
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX


Bibref 281 - Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (1999) Diggs, G. M.; B. L. Lipscomb; B. O'Kennon; W. F...

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Lactuca canadensis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lactuca canadensis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lactuca canadensis


Record Modified: 2022-05-23
Research By: TWC Staff

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