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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Lactuca floridana (Woodland lettuce)
Brundage, Stephanie

Lactuca floridana

Lactuca floridana (L.) Gaertn.

Woodland Lettuce, Florida Lettuce

Asteraceae (Aster Family)



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

A loose cluster of numerous blue (sometimes whitish) flower heads atop a leafy stem; sap milky.

There are several species of lettuce with blue flower heads, among them a more western species, Large-flowered Blue Lettuce (L. tatarica var. pulchella), with larger and fewer flower heads than this species and foliage covered with white waxy bloom. Tall Blue Lettuce (L. biennis), found from southern Canada south to North Carolina and west to Iowa, has crowded clusters of flower heads and tan fruit bristles.


From the Image Gallery

21 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual , Biennial
Habit: Herb
Root Type: Tap
Inflorescence: Panicle
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Blue
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AL , AR , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MI , MO , MS , NC , NE , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , WI , WV
Canada: MB , ON
Native Distribution: Manitoba and Ontario; Massachusetts south to Florida, west to Texas, and north to South Dakota and Minnesota.
Native Habitat: Rich woods, thickets, and clearings.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet

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.

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-12-29
Research By: TWC Staff

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