Lactuca serriola L.

Family: Asteraceae, Tribe: Chicorieae

Pertinent Synonyms & Notes (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other synonyms)


Pertinent Common Names (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other common names)

prickly lettuce

Primary Disseminule Type

fruit (often with pappus missing & beak broken)

Description (diagnostics are in brown)

Fruit a cypsela. Cypsela body oblanceolate, sometimes slightly curved, tapered at both ends, compressed, cross-section elliptic with pointed ends (biconvex to fusiform) to D-shaped, 2.5–3.5 mm long x 0.9–1.1(1.5) mm wide x 0.4–0.8 mm thick. Surface light to dark grayish-brown, sometimes dark-spotted, with a light sheen, 5–9-ribbed on each of the two faces, ribs minutely barbed and hairy near the apex. Apex strongly beaked (beak pale, slender, 2.5–4 mm long, tip expanded). Pappus of fine white bristles, (3)4–5 mm long, detach separately and easily.

Style base cylindrical or a mound surrounded by a yellowish collar ca. 0.2 mm across.

Fruit attachment scar basal, white, shiny, partial to entire, ring-like.

Similar Species

Similar Species Comparison Chart

Risk Assessment (codes in yellow or red indicate cause for concern; assessments are current as of mid-2011; click AUQP, NZBORIC, or NZBPI for access to the most recent versions of these databases and possible assessment changes)