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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 ludoviciana

Lactuca ludoviciana (Nutt.) Riddell

Western Wild Lettuce, Louisiana Wild Lettuce, Prairie Lettuce, Prairie Wild Lettuce, Biannual Lettuce

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Lactuca campestris, Lactuca campestris var. typica


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

Lactuca means "milk" which refers to the white sap in the stems and leaves of the plant. Ludoviciana refers to King Louis XIV in whose honor Louisiana was named.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Biennial
Habit: Herb
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Deltoid , Oblanceolate
Leaf Margin: Dentate , Lobed
Leaf Base: Clasping
Breeding System: Monoecious
Inflorescence: Head , Panicle
Fruit Type: Achene
Leaf: Milky sap from leaves and stems.
Flower: Ray flowers: 5 petals united. Disk flowers: absent
Fruit: Gray/black achene with white pappus bristles on a stem at the tip of the beak.
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: Many heads at the top of the stalk.


USA: AR , AZ , CA , CO , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MN , MO , MS , MT , ND , NE , NM , OK , OR , SD , TX , UT , WA , WI , WY
Canada: BC , MB , SK

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
Drought Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Calcareous
Conditions Comments: Usually considered a weed.

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.


Bibref 293 - Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas (1979) Correll, D. S. & M. C. Johnston
Bibref 281 - Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (1999) Diggs, G. M.; B. L. Lipscomb; B. O'Kennon; W. F...

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Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2013-04-26
Research By: ghh

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