Lactuca serriola   Prickly Lettuce CC DD N?

Lactuca serriola flowers Lactuca serriola leaves

This is one of those plants which defy the photographer because it is quite tall, the flowers, if there are any, are space out and quite small and the leaves are near the bottom of the plant. It is hard to do justice to the plant without at least two separate photos. This plant appears to have spread greatly in the last twenty or so years. Here in Cheshire it would be rarely seen in the 1980s but now is quite common on waste land particularly on old building sites and land waiting for development.

L. serriola was known only from south eastern England in the early part of the 20th century but has rapidly spread and is now common throughout England. It is less common in Wales and the west, still hardly known in Scotland but has started to establish itself in Ireland in the east.

LHS: Banks of River Itchen, Southampton 2nd October 2004 RHS: Wimbledon Common, London 30th June 2006

Added on December 28th 2004, updated 1st March 2010

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