Prickly Lettuce - Lactuca serriola

    Description

    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.

    Identification difficulty
    Habitat

    Disturbed and waste ground, roadside verges, motorway banks.

    When to see it

    July to September.

    Life History

    Annual or biennial.

    UK Status

    Most records in Britain are from central and southern England.

    VC55 Status

    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

    UK Map