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Toxic parts

The mature plant is mildly toxic[1].

Edible uses


Leaves - raw or cooked[2][3]. A mild, slightly sweet flavour, they are rather more coarse than ordinary lettuce[4], though they make an acceptable ingredient in mixed salads. Old leaves become coarser and bitter[4]. Stem - raw or cooked. Thick, tender, crisp and juicy, its flavour is variously described as being like lettuce, celery, artichoke, squash, asparagus or chard[2][3]. It is usually peeled before being used[3][4]. The stems can be harvested just before the plants flower without them turning bitter, though they might become hollow at this stage[4].


Material uses

Parasiticide[5]. No further details are given, but it is probably the sap of flowering plants that is used. The seed is said to be used to make hair grow on scar tissue[6].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air[7]. The sap contains 'lactucarium', which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties[8][9][10][11][12][13][14]. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets[7], nor is it addictive[15]. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc[14]. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower[14]. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted[7]. The cultivated lettuce does not contain as much lactucarium as the wild species, most being produced when the plant is in flower[7]. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used[8].

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[14] and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis[15][8]. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine[13]. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts[16]. The seed is anodyne and galactogogue[6].

Lettuce has acquired a folk reputation as an anaphrodisiac, anodyne, carminative, diuretic, emollient, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, hypnotic, narcotic, parasiticide and sedative[6].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - sow March to June in situ[4]. Seedlings can be transplanted[4]. Seed becomes dormant at temperatures above 27°c[4].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Lactuca sativa angustana. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Prefers a light sandy loam[17]. Succeeds in most well-drained, humus-rich soils but dislikes acid conditions[17][18]. Prefers some shade in the summer to slow down the plants tendency to go to seed and to prevent the leaves becoming bitter[19][20].

Plants can resist some frost, they can also tolerate temperatures in excess of 27°c[4]. They are fairly resistant to bolting, though they can run to seed prematurely in very hot conditions[4]. The celtuce is a form of lettuce with a longer and thicker central stem, it is sometimes cultivated for its edible leaves and stems[4]. There are some named varieties[3]. It takes 3 - 4 months from sowing before the stems are ready to harvest[4]. A surface-rooting plant, the roots can be damaged by hoeing[4].

A good companion for strawberries, carrots, radishes and onions[19][20].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Lactuca sativa angustana. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Lactuca sativa angustana.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Lactuca sativa angustana
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


    1. ? Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975-00-00)
    2. ? Organ. J. Rare Vegetables for Garden and Table. Faber (1960-00-00)
    3. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    4. ? Larkcom J. Oriental Vegetables John Murray ISBN 0-7195-4781-4 (1991-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Stuart. Rev. G. A. Chinese Materia Medica. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre ()
    6. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    7. ? Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    8. ? Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
    12. ? 12.012.1 Emboden. W. Narcotic Plants Studio Vista ISBN 0-289-70864-8 (1979-00-00)
    13. ? Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
    14. ? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    15. ? Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.1 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    18. ? Simons. New Vegetable Growers Handbook. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-050-0 (1977-00-00)
    19. ? 19.019.1 Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (1979-00-00)
    20. ? 20.020.1 Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (1978-00-00)
    21. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)

    Facts about "Lactuca sativa angustana"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyCompositae +
    Belongs to genusLactuca +
    Has binomial nameLactuca sativa angustana +
    Has common nameCeltuce +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partLeaves + and Stem +
    Has edible useUnknown use +
    Has fertility typeSelf fertile +, Flies + and Self +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has hardiness zone6 +
    Has lifecycle typeAnnual + and Biennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useParasiticide +
    Has mature height0.6 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAnodyne +, Antispasmodic +, Emollient +, Expectorant + and Sedative +
    Has search namelactuca sativa angustana + and celtuce +
    Has shade toleranceLight shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceNeutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy + and Loamy +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameLactuca sativa angustana +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Lactuca sativa angustana +, Lactuca sativa angustana +, Lactuca sativa angustana +, Lactuca sativa angustana +, Lactuca sativa angustana +, Lactuca sativa angustana +, Lactuca sativa angustana + and Lactuca sativa angustana +