Lactuca ludoviciana [Asteraceae]

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Scientific Name Lactuca ludoviciana USDA PLANTS Symbol LALU
Common Name Wild Lettuce, Louisiana Lettuce ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 36602
Family Asteraceae (Sunflower) SEINet
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Description Habitat: Dryer, usually calareous soils in sunny, open areas; disturbed sites.
Plant: Erect biennial, central, smooth stem 2 to 5 feet tall in second year; unbranched except at flower clusters.
Leaves: Dark green, shiney blades variable in size and shape; basal rosette in first year, each blade up to 12 inches long and 8 inches wide, deeply lobed and coarsely toothed with sharp pointed teeth; smaller and less lobed, stalkless stem leaves in lower half to 3/4 portion of plant, becoming about 4 inches long, 1-1/2 inches wide, and unlobed but may have two lobes near leaf base.
Inflorescence: Open, branching cluster of stalked flowers at the top arising from upper leaf axils; flowers are 3/4 to 1 inch across with 20 to 50 yellow to pinkish purple to bluish rays; no disk flowers; involucre tube 1/2 to 3/4-inch long, smooth with overlapping bracts, green to purplish.
Bloom Period: May to June.
References: "Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas" by Correll and Johnston, Minnesota Wildflowers and SEINet.
Note: Some disagreement in the literature on the flower color which is usually yellow, according to some references; plants photographed here have pale lavender florets.
BONAP Distribution Map

Texas Status:

© Tom Lebsack 2022