Lactuca serriola (Prickly Lettuce)

Lactuca serriola (Prickly Lettuce) on 7-11-21, #810-10.

Prickly Lettuce, China Lettuce, Compass Plant, Horse Thistle, Wild Lettuce

Lactuca serriola

lak-TOO-kuh  ser-ee-OH-luh

Synonyms of Lactuca serriola (33) (Updated on 10-21-21 from Plants of the World Online): Hieracium lactuca E.H.L.Krause, Lactuca albicaulis Boiss., Lactuca altaica Fisch. & C.A.Mey., Lactuca angustana All., Lactuca angustifolia Lam. ex Steud., Lactuca auriculata Aitch., Lactuca bracteata Wall., Lactuca coriacea Sch.Bip., Lactuca dubia Jord., Lactuca elata Salisb., Lactuca integrata (Gren. & Godr.) A.Nelson, Lactuca latifolia Gilib., Lactuca officinarum Crantz, Lactuca plicata Balb., Lactuca pseudovirosa Sch.Bip. ex Nyman, Lactuca sativa subsp. serriola (L.) Frietema, Lactuca scariola L., Lactuca scariola var. integrata Gren. & Godr., Lactuca scariola subsp. integrata (Gren. & Godr.) Piper, Lactuca scariola var. integrifolia (Gray) Bogenh., Lactuca scariola var. nieuwlandii Lunell, Lactuca serriola var. integrata Farw., Lactuca serriola subsp. integrifolia (Gray) G.H.Loos, Lactuca serriola f. integrifolia (Gray) S.D.Prince & R.N.Carter, Lactuca serriola subvar. plicata Farw., Lactuca serriola f. serriola (Gray) S.D.Prince & R.N.Carter, Lactuca sylvestris Lam., Lactuca sylvestris Garsault, Lactuca tephrocarpa K.Koch, Lactuca verticalis Gaterau, Lactuca virosa Luce, Lactuca virosa var. integrifolia Gray, Wiestia spectabilis Sch.Bip.

Lactuca serriola L. is the correct and accepted scientific name for the Prickly Lettuce. It was named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in Centuria II. Plantarum in 1756.

The genus, Lactuca L., was named and described by Carl von Linnaeus in the second volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.

Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 116 species in the Lactuca genus (as of 10-21-21 when this page was last updated). It is a member of the plant family Asteraceae with 1,677 genera. The number of genera in the family fluctuates quite often.

Distribution map of Lactuca serriola from Plants of the World Online. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/. Retrieved on October 21, 2021.

The above distribution map for Lactuca serriola is from Plants of the World Online. Areas in green are where the species is native and purple where it has been introduced. The map on the USDA Plants Database for North America is the same.

The map on iNaturalist shows where members have made observations. Anyone can join and it is a great website to confirm and share your observations. The maps on iNaturalist are continually updated as members post new observations.

THERE ARE SEVERAL LINKS BELOW FOR FURTHER READING AND TO HELP WITH A POSITIVE ID.

Lactuca serriola (Prickly Lettuce) on 6-16-21, #801-48.

There are always quite a few Lactuca serriola growing on the farm but mainly around buildings and fences. I have seen these plants since I was a kid but I hadn’t gotten around to identifying them until 2021. It was just one of “those plants” I suppose I just took for granted. I was keeping my eye on a good-sized colony in the corral so I could get photos of their flowers but deer ate the tops out of them. I knew there were plenty more, so I later took photos of their flowers from a plant growing next to a shed.

I apologize for not writing descriptions at the moment, but I have A LOT of wildflower pages to make and publish before I start getting too busy. I update this site and add new pages over the winter but I didn’t get finished. SO, I decided to just make the page with photos and links to other sites for better plant ID. I will be taking more photos over the summer and posting but I will also be working on these pages as I have time.

Lactuca serriola (Prickly Lettuce) on 6-16-21, #801-49.

 

Lactuca serriola (Prickly Lettuce) on 7-11-21, #810-11.

 

Lactuca serriola (Prickly Lettuce) on 7-11-21, #810-12.

 

Lactuca serriola (Prickly Lettuce) on 7-11-21, #810-13.

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 identified over 100 species of wildflowers (most have pages listed on the right side of the page). 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 few horticulturalists 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 thebelmontrooster@yahoo.com. I would enjoy hearing from you especially if you notice something is a bit whacky.

FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
INTERNATIONAL PLANT NAMES INDEX (GENUS/SPECIES)
TROPICOS (GENUS/SPECIES)
FLORA OF NORTH AMERICA (GENUS/SPECIES)
WORLD FLORA ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
WIKIPEDIA (GENUS/SPECIES)
USDA PLANTS DATABASE
DAVE’S GARDEN
MISSOURI PLANTS
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-WEED ID GUIDE
iNATURALIST
WILDFLOWER SEARCH
ILLINOIS WILDFLOWERS
MINNESOTA WILDFLOWERS
PFAF (PLANTS FOR A FUTURE)
GO BOTANY
FLORA FINDER
FRIENDS OF THE WILDFLOWER GARDEN
MARYLAND BIODIVERSITY PROJECT
INVASIVE PLANT ATLAS
YAVAPAI CO. NATIVE & NATURALIZED PLANTS
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON-BURKE HERBARIUM
SOUTHWEST DESERT FLORA
BPPLANT.ORG

NOTE: The data (figures, maps, accepted names, etc.) may not match on these websites. It depends on when and how they make updates and when their sources make updates. Some websites have hundreds and even many thousands of species to keep up with. Accepted scientific names change periodically and it can be hard to keep with as well. Some of the links may use a name that is a synonym on other sites. In my opinion, Plants of the World Online by Kew is the most reliable and up-to-date plant database and they make updates on a regular basis. I make updates “at least” once a year and when I write new pages or add new photos but I do get behind. We are all a work in progress. 🙂