Prickly Lettuce

is there anyone here who harvests prickly lettuce in their yard or anywhere else? i have what im 99% sure is prickly lettuce, i just want to be 100% sure. the leaves are prickly on the under side along the stem, and when i tear a leaf into pieces white stuff comes out. i want to put prickly lettuce in green smoothies and some salads. someone help me out please! thanks


  • waterbaby12347waterbaby12347 Raw Newbie

    My book “Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild and not So Wild Places” says it can be mistaken for dandelion or chicory.

    They all have similar basal rosettes of toothed leaves with white milky sap in early spring, but they’re all edible. Dandelion leaves are never hairy, while hairy letuce has hairs on the undersides of the leaves, and prickly lettuce has prickles.

    Wild lettuce or tall lettuce is hairless, but the leaves are light green and the stem is powdered with a blue-green, waxy bloom.

    Chicory has a thin line of hair along the underside of the midrib of the leaf. Wild lettuces are usually a lighter green than their relatives, and the leaves are more widely variable some deeply lobed, others barely toothed. The leaves of some mustard species resemble lettuce’s but never have white sap.

    Hope this helps, the drawings in the book have not been of help in identifying unknowns to me.

  • hmmmm… well the plant isnt hairy, it just has the prickles on the underside of the stem. its about 3 – 3.5 feet tall. ugh i wish i had an expert here to tell me for sure! then id be all over them! grrr

  • waterbaby12347waterbaby12347 Raw Newbie

    Call your local extension agent… ; ) Re-read my second paragraph, sounds like you have it!!!

  • hmmm perhaps i do! it was interesting, today i was picking kale out of my garden and i noticed another plant just a few feet away from the other prickly lettuce plant and it looked exactly the same EXCEPT, the main stalk was COVERED with fuzz and so were the leaves! but the other one isnt hairy AT ALL! just the prickles on the underside of the leaves. im perplexed =/

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