Corn Salad, Mache, Lamb's Lettuce

Valerianella locusta

Family: Caprifoliaceae (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info) (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Valerianella (val-er-ee-ah-NEL-uh) (Info)
Species: locusta (loh-KUS-tuh) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

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Water Requirements:

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Where to Grow:

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6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)


Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Light Blue


White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer


Grown for foliage


Other details:

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Soil pH requirements:

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Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Trinity, Alabama

Little Rock, Arkansas

Longmont, Colorado

Millersburg, Pennsylvania

Catawba, South Carolina

Arlington, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 21, 2012, jeroc from Catawba, SC wrote:

I live in the piedmont area of South Carolina and only noticed this plant growing wild for the past few years. I was unable to find it in any of my wild flower books and finally resorted to searching on the internet. It apparently has become one of those mysterious "alien" plants that just show up. It grows very densly in open areas but does not appear to be a problem - yet.


On Jun 11, 2008, CurtisJones from Longmont, CO wrote:

From your friends at Botanical Interests: Mache (French for corn salad) is an ancient crop that has been grown as far back as the Stone Age. A mild green with soft texture and leaves that "melt in your mouth", it can be planted in early spring as soon as the soil can be worked (much earlier than lettuce). The foliage has been reported to survive down to 10 degrees F. It also withstands spring/summer heat without getting bitter. You can eat it raw in salads or lightly steam it like spinach. The leaves have a very slight peanut flavor and go with any dressing, but especially peanut oil-based dressings and light vinaigrettes. You can grow it as a spring or fall crop. It can also be grown for a winter crop in mild climates. Also called, "Lamb's Lettuce".


On Mar 8, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

"Long, oval green leaves have a unique nutty, delicate, buttery flavor and are a significant source of iron. Sow in fall, to overwinter in all but the northernmost areas for early-season gourmet greens. Harvest any time, even after plants go to seed. Never bitter. Grown in America since the 1700's."


On Jun 26, 2006, Sherlock_Holmes from Rife, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Here is some information according to The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America by Francois Couplan, Ph.D.

"The European V. carinata and V. locusta var. oleracea (= V. olitoria) are occasionally grown as salad plants in vegetable gardens; both are locally naturalized in North America. The Italian corn salad (V. eriocarpa - from Southern Europe) is also cultivated. The three species mentioned are very popular in Europe. V. locusta is commonly sold in French and Swiss markets. It is sold in the U.S. under the French name "māche." The leaves of these plants are extremely tender and delicious raw."