Lettuce, Loose Leaf Lettuce 'Black-Seeded Simpson'

Lactuca sativa

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
Registered or introduced: 1875
» View all varieties of Lettuce




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:

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:

Graysville, Alabama

Little Rock, Arkansas

Lawndale, California

Mountain View, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Lady Lake, Florida

Miami, Florida

Milton, Florida

Glen Ellyn, Illinois

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

Downingtown, 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

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 2, 2016, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

I've grown this lettuce cultivar since the 1970's myself in Illinois and Pennsylvania, and my father grew it way back into the 1950's. It is easy to grow, very soft and tender, and is offered by many stores in seed packets from a good number of companies.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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. :)


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.