Canada Lettuce, Tall Lettuce, Tall Wild Lettuce
Synonyms of Lactuca canadensis: Agathyrsus acuminatus (Willd.) Sweet, Cicerbita canadensis Wallr., Cicerbita elongata Wallr., Galathenium elongatum Nutt., Galathenium integrifolium Nutt., Galathenium salicifolium Nutt., Lactuca canadensis var. integrifolia Farw., Lactuca canadensis var. latifolia Kuntze, Lactuca canadensis var. longifolia Farw., Lactuca canadensis var. obovata Wiegand, Lactuca caroliniana Walter, Lactuca elongata Mulh. ex Willd., Lactuca longifolia Michx., Lactuca procera Schrad. ex DC., Lactuca sagittifolia Elliott, Lactuca steelei Britton, Lactuca villosa Muhl. ex Torr. & A.Gray, Mulgedium integrifolium Cass., Sonchus acuminatus Willd., Sonchus pallidus Willd., Wiestia canadensis Sch.Bip., Wiestia elongata Sch.Bip.
Lactuca canadensis L. is the correct and accepted scientific name for Canada Lettuce. The genus and species were named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the second volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.
Plants of the World Online still list 111 species in the Lactuca genus (as of May 15, 2020 when I am updating this page). Lactuca is a member of the Asteraceae Family with a total of 1,169 on 5-15-20 (there were 1,763 genera the last update on 3-29-20). Those numbers will change periodically as updates are made.
There are a few links at the bottom of the page for further reading and to assist with better plant ID.
Lactuca canadensis is quite common on the farm and along roadsides in the surrounding countryside. It is quite common in yards, along fences, ditches, homes… You get the picture. Some plants get very tall with large stems while others are smaller. There are several species in the genus that are quite similar.
I have a lot of wildflower pages to add to this site so I decided to upload photos and come back later to add descriptions. There are many links at the bottom of the page for further reading and hep you get a positive ID. One site I have been using regularly is iNaturalist. You can sign up, upload your photos, set your location, and it will give you suggestions as to what your plant might be. You can then submit your observation and other members will either agree or suggest a different species. It’s a great site!
A Lactuca canadensis decided to come up in front of the Canna bed in 2020. I decided to leave be so I can watch I grow.
Yep… It has the typical thick purplish stem.
I will continue adding more photos and information as time goes by.
I have enjoyed photographing and learning about the many wildflowers growing on the farm and other areas. My farm is in Windsor, Missouri in Pettis County (Henry County is across the street and Benton and Johnson aren’t far away). I have grown over 500 different plants and most have pages listed on the right side of the blog. I am not an expert, botanist, or horticulturalist. I just like growing, photographing and writing about my experience. I rely on several websites for ID and a horticulturalist I contact if I cannot figure them out. Wildflowers can be somewhat variable from location to location, so sometimes it gets a bit confusing. If you see I have made an error, please let me know so I can correct what I have written.
I hope you found this page useful and be sure to check the links below for more information. They were written by experts and provide much more information. Some sites may not be up-to-date but they are always a work in progress. If you can, I would appreciate it if you would click on the “Like” below and leave a comment. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. You can also send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would enjoy hearing from you especially if you notice something is a bit whacky.