Prickly Lettuce - Lactuca serriola
Tall, greyish, stiff and erect plant to 1.8 metres. Stem sometimes bristly. Leaves alternate, oblong, prickly on margins and along the mid-rib beneath, sometimes irregularly lobed, clasping the stem with arrow shaped points. Upper leaves held in a vertical position, their edges pointing north-south when in sunlight. Flowerheads pale yellow 11 to 13 mm numerous, in a narrow pyramidal panicle. Achenes greyish.
Great Lettuce Lactuca virosa
Leaf midrib underside prickly; achenes green-greyish; stems and leaf midribs greenish white. Leaves variable - usually unlobed, but can be deeply pinnately lobed.
The County Recorder has asked for a specimen of this plant to be retained for verification. Photos showing stems, leaf midribs and achenes. This plant cannot be verified from a photo of the flowers only
Disturbed and waste ground, roadside verges, motorway banks.
July to September.
Annual or biennial.
Most records in Britain are from central and southern England.
Once infrequent, but now quite common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 25 of the 617 tetrads.
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015