Lettuce, Butterhead Lettuce 'Tom Thumb'

Lactuca sativa

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lactuca (lak-TOO-kuh) (Info)
Species: sativa (sa-TEE-vuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Tom Thumb
» View all varieties of Lettuce




under 6 in. (15 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Days to Maturity:

Unknown - Tell us


Grown for foliage

Seed Type:

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Lawndale, California

Menifee, California

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 27, 2010, sketchkat06 from Lawndale, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

It definitely grows in southern California, but best over the winter months. I didn't have the best of luck with it past the first month or so of spring. Very sensitive to temps over 70 degrees.


On Mar 10, 2008, jenhillphoto from Danbury, CT (Zone 6a) wrote:

We enjoyed this lettuce very much. The miniature heads are cute and would make a nice presentation as individual salad servings. Although we used it as cut and come again lettuce. It kept producing all summer.


On Aug 11, 2005, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

A 46 day miniature butterhead lettuce. Dates to the 19th century.


On Oct 28, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is a miniature variety. The soil should be well drained and fertile to force fast growth. Raised beds are beneficial for early spring sowings. This variety is also great for fall plantings.


On Sep 3, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Delicious. Each head can be harvested individually for a salad, or just a few leaves at a time for continual harvest for up to 3 months. It can be successfully overwintered if mulched or lightly covered, and uncovered to take advantage of warmer winter days to start growth for very early spring salads.