Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Woodland Lettuce, Florida Blue Lettuce, False Lettuce
Lactuca floridana

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lactuca (lak-TOO-kuh) (Info)
Species: floridana (flor-ih-DAY-na) (Info)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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2 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive readpetunia On Jan 2, 2009, readpetunia from Hot Springs National Park, AR wrote:

I love blue lettuce, simply, because not much information about it. I've read annual or biennal. I've also read young leaves make a slightly bitter salad green. I've also read they are only suitable as a cooked green. Also, there are two variations of the species which are supposedly almost identical. I saw one on which topped 20 ft which exceeds all height expectancies I've read. Also, the hollow stalks at the end of the season are fairly strong and I believed would work beautifully for trellises. I am in Ouachita Mtns in Arkansas. Also,located north of me in Ozarks. I'm going to try a crop for salad greens and some for height and trellis possibilities, cold stratify for 60 days I believe I read. I find in open area grows tall and find also sporadically in open woods on smaller scale.

Neutral frostweed On Aug 31, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Lactuca floridana is Native to Texas and other States.

Positive melody On Aug 22, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Although classed as a weed, this plant is not invasive and is not extremely common in my area. I do not actually grow it in my garden, but have observed it along the roadsides.

It grows to about 6' tall and seems to favor areas that are slightly moist. I've observed it near marshy road ditches and in meadows that tend to hold water when it rains. The other Wild Lettuce species around here aren't as picky, growing wherever seeds land.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 31, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is on the threatened list in the state of MI.


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

Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
Wamego, Kansas
Benton, Kentucky

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