prickly lettuce

Asterales > Asteraceae > Lactuca serriola L.
Synonym(s): China lettuce, wild lettuce

Prickly lettuce is an annual or biennial that can reach heights of 6 ft. (1.8m). Cauline leaves (on the stem) are alternate, 2-14 in. (5-36 cm) long and become smaller up the stem. Leaves have a conspicuous, white midvein with the underside of the vein covered with many prickles. In the mid-to-late summer, 1/2 in. (1.3 cm) wide, yellow flowers develop in a branched inflorescence at the apex of the stem. Flowers produce dandelion-like seeds. Prickly lettuce is native to the Mediterranean region and occurs along roadsides, in abandoned fields, and other disturbed areas. It was accidentally introduced into North America in the late 1890s, possibly as a contaminant in seed.


Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources


Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Foliage; Rosette
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); habit
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); habit
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Richard Old, XID Services, Inc., Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, , Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Richard Old, XID Services, Inc., Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Prickles
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Milky sap
Tom Heutte, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Richard Old, XID Services, Inc., Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, , Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, , Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, , Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Diagram or Graphic; USDA NRCS. Wetland flora: Field office illustrated guide to plant species. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
USDA PLANTS Database, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species


External Links


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