Seed - sprouted and used in salads or sandwiches.An edible oil is obtained from the seed. The seed is very small, extraction of the oil on any scale would not be very feasible[K].
The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts. The seed is anodyne and galactogogue.Lettuce has acquired a folk reputation as an anaphrodisiac, anodyne, carminative, diuretic, emollient, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, hypnotic, narcotic, parasiticide and sedative.
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The garden lettuce is widely cultivated in many parts of the world for its edible leaves and is probably the most commonly grown salad plant. There are many named varieties capable of providing fresh leaves throughout the year if winter protection is given in temperate areas. Over the centuries a number of more or less distinct forms have arisen in cultivation. These forms have been classified as follows. They are treated separately in more detail:-
L. sativa angustana. L.H.Bailey. is the Celtuce. The leaves of this form are not of such good quality as the other lettuces and the plant is grown more for its thick central stem which is used in the same ways as celery. L. sativa capitata. L. is the heading lettuce, it forms a heart in a similar way to cabbages. Examples of this include the Iceberg and Butterhead lettuces. L. sativa crispa. L. is the curled or leaf lettuce. This does not form a central heart but produces a loose rosette of basal leaves. It can be harvested on a cut and come again basis. L. sativa longifolia Lam. is the cos lettuce. This has longer, thinner leaves and a more erect habit, it does not form a compact heart.
Lettuces are quite a problematic crop to grow. They require quite a lot of attention to protect them from pests such as slugs, aphids and birds. If the weather is hot and dry the plants tend to run very quickly to seed, developing a bitter flavour as they do so. In wet weather they are likely to develop fungal diseases. In addition, the seed needs to be sown at regular intervals of 2- 3 weeks during the growing season in order to provide a regular supply of leaves.Lettuces make a good companion plant for strawberries, carrots, radishes and onions. They also grow well with cucumbers, cabbages and beetroot.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Lactuca sativa.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
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