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Prickly Lettuce, Lactuca serriola Family: Asteraceae
Lactuca serriola
Prickly Lettuce


Flowering time: July - September. Annual or biennial
Height: 30-120cm
Pale-yellow flowers with olive-grey, beaked achenes and unequal bracts. Pappus equal, with simple hairs. Thick waxy-green leaves, the lower often pinnate and clasping stems. Small spines occur on leaf edges and beneath veins. Contains a white, milky sap (latex).

Habitat: Common on disturbed ground, roadsides and waste ground in southern England and the midlands, having spread rapidly from the SE.

Medicinal properties: A source of Lactucarium, used in the 18th century as a non-addictive sedative.


Prickly Lettuce, Lactuca serriola       Prickly Lettuce, Lactuca serriola

Prickly Lettuce, Lactuca serriola
Branksome Chine, Dorset. August 2007

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