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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Lactuca ludoviciana - biannual lettuce

Synonyms: Latuca campestris
Other Common Names: prairie lettuce
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Asteraceae

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Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Biennial or perennial
General Desc: Leafy stems arise from a taproot. Both the leaves and stems contain a milky sap.
Identification notes: A 4mm long beaked (ending in a narrow tip) 2-nerved achene, the beak about as long as the body of the achene ; ovate upper leaves and pinnatifid (cleft) lower leaves and yellow flowers distinguish this from other Latuca species.
Height: 1 to 5 feet


Habitat Description: Prefers moist but well drained soil in prairies, low ground, or roadsides.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 3000 - 5500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Yellow to purplish     Shape: Daisy or dandelion-like not in clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Jun - Sep
Description: Flowers are yellow, but become purplish with age.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Pinnatifid     Leaf Margin: Lobed     Leaf Attachment: Basal and alternate     Leaves Clasp: Y
Hairs: No     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaves can vary widely from narrow to oblong to pinnatifid and lobed to toothed.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Gray and black   
Fruit Type: Achene
Fruit Notes: The beak of the fruit is as long as the body.
Seed Notes: The flat dry seed is ribbed on each face.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 7.0  
Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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