(Tall Blue Lettuce)
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Facts About this Plant:
- Common Names: Tall Blue Lettuce, Blue Wood Lettuce
- Synonyms: Lactuca spicata, Mulgedium spicatum
- Lifespan: Annual
- Zones: N/A
- Type: Forb
- Bloom Time: July - September
- Status: Native
Lactuca biennis, or Tall Blue Lettuce, is native to the northern half of the United States and is also present in the Rocky Mountain area. It is an annual, or biennial, that grows in fields, along roadsides, in open forest openings, along streambanks, and along woodland edges. It blooms from mid summer into fall, with medium-sized flowers that can be either blue or whitish blue.
This plant looks similar to some other members of the Lactuca genus. The most similar is Lactuca canadensis, which has yellow flowers and leaves that are usually deeply divided and often clasp around the stem. In addition, its seed has the primary seed, and above it is a small stalk, and then a tuft of hairs that get carried in the wind. In Lactuca biennis, however, there is no stalk between the seed and the tuft of hairs; additionally, Lactuca biennis is a taller plant and has blue flowers, and its leaves are less divided and do not clasp the stem.
More information will be posted at a later time about differentiating other species.
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