Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Lettuce, Loose Leaf Lettuce
Lactuca sativa 'Black-Seeded Simpson'

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lactuca (lak-TOO-kuh) (Info)
Species: sativa (sa-TEE-vuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Black-Seeded Simpson
Hybridized by Henderson; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1875

» View all varieties of Lettuce

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

19 members have or want this plant for trade.


under 6 in. (15 cm)
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Days to Maturity:
Early (55-68 days)

Grown for foliage

Seed Type:

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Big_Red
Thumbnail #1 of Lactuca sativa by Big_Red

By Big_Red
Thumbnail #2 of Lactuca sativa by Big_Red

By Wingnut
Thumbnail #3 of Lactuca sativa by Wingnut

By dave
Thumbnail #4 of Lactuca sativa by dave

By Big_Red
Thumbnail #5 of Lactuca sativa by Big_Red

By Kelli
Thumbnail #6 of Lactuca sativa by Kelli

By Big_Red
Thumbnail #7 of Lactuca sativa by Big_Red

There are a total of 10 photos.
Click here to view them all!


10 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive midwestfarmwife On Nov 27, 2011, midwestfarmwife from Jamestown, OH wrote:

Black Seeded Simpson is a very nice looseleaf lettuce. Its light green frilly leaves seem to grow overnight! I had some accidentally pop up in my flowerbed. It self-sowed and came back the following year, actually looking pretty among the flowers. It has a delicate flavor which is great mixed with other varieties in a salad or on sandwiches.

Negative Jan_FL_zone8 On Apr 11, 2011, Jan_FL_zone8 from Lady Lake, FL wrote:

Like many gardeners, this was my first lettuce. Having moved on to grow a variety of lettuces, this one can't compare. Productive, lovely color, but has less heat resistance than many newer ones, in my area. Leaves awfully soft, very little substance - wilts down under salad dressings.

Positive GrubBoy On Jun 18, 2009, GrubBoy from Virginia Beach, VA wrote:

I didn't know anything about the growing characteristics of this lettuce type before putting it in my small raised bed garden. Started harvesting leaves from the bottom of the plant and just kept shaking my head because I didn't believe what I was seeing...the plant was getting taller and taller instead of bushy. After a little bit of Internet research, I came to understand that what I was experiencing was just the normal behavior - an upward growing plant that can reach 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide! I'll need to make more room for them next year and start pickin' from the top of the plant instead of the bottom.

Great taste, plentiful amount of leaves, and getting taller!

Positive mosc0022 On Sep 18, 2005, mosc0022 from Coeur D Alene, ID (Zone 5a) wrote:

Delicious lettuce. Very little bitterness, and lasted well into summer. I'll grow it again next year, for sure.

Positive TuttiFrutti On Jul 11, 2005, TuttiFrutti from Spokane Valley, WA (Zone 5b) wrote:

As a first-time lettuce grower, I knew nothing about cultivars when I scanned the cheap seed racks and decided to try this one. Lucky me! The lettuce is soft and mild flavored, making it suitable for sandwiches and salads alike, and though I harvest enough for a salad every evening or so for my small family, I can hardly tell that I've touched the plants the day after.

Black-Seeded Simpson Lettuce also provides a pleasing shade of light green in contrast to the rows of darker greens from the Solanaceae family (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes) and the Brassica blues (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower) in my 20x32' veggie garden. :)

Positive Big_Red On Jun 24, 2005, Big_Red from Bethelridge, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have grown this variety for years, great tasting, easy to grow, and does stand up to the heat. The more you pick it, the more it grows.

Positive Lettuceman On Dec 21, 2004, Lettuceman from Dayton, WA wrote:

This old stand-by is quite bolt-resistant, and given really nitrogen-rich soil, it can get huge. I've grown them over 2 feet in diameter!

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

Sow seeds in early spring and again after the very hot days of summer are over. In cooler climates, you can make 2 to 3 spring plantings, timed 2 weeks apart. Little is gained by starting seeds indoors.

Neutral trifunov On Oct 21, 2004, trifunov from Brandon, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:

Crisp textured loose heads have broad, light green frilled and crumpled leaves with a delicate flavor. Ready 45 days after sowing. Sow in a sunny location in early to mid spring or late summer. In Deep South and Pacific Coast areas sow from fall to early spring. In rows 1.5in apart. cover with 0.5in soil. Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days. Thin to stand 3-4in apart when 1-2in high. Wait 2-3 weeks and thin out alternate plants for final spacing of 6-8ins. Make successive plantings to extend period of harvest.

Positive Wingnut On Jun 16, 2004, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Easy to grow. I agree about the heat resistance ~ this one and buttercrunch always seem the last to bolt in my zone 8 garden.

Positive melody On Apr 19, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

An old open Pollinated variety grown for years in this area. Withstands some heat and stays tasty.

Positive Joan On Jan 14, 2003, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

This lettuce has been one of my favorites. I find that it can take a little more heat than some other types before becoming bitter tasting.

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

The standard to beat in leaf-lettuce. Very old open-pollinated variety, never fails to provide a good crop even in mediocre growing seasons. Superb for cut-and-come-again harvesting.


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

Graysville, Alabama
Little Rock, Arkansas
Lawndale, California
Mountain View, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Lady Lake, Florida
Miami, Florida
Milton, Florida
Jacksonville, Illinois
Brookston, Indiana
Wichita, Kansas
Benton, Kentucky
Bethelridge, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Laurel, Mississippi
Blair, Nebraska
Salisbury, New Hampshire
Bayville, New Jersey
Jamestown, Ohio
Cranberry Twp, Pennsylvania
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Jonesville, South Carolina
Lenoir City, Tennessee
Fort Worth, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Spicewood, Texas
Gloucester, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Dayton, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Madison, Wisconsin

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America