Common Name: lettuce, prickly
Species: Lactuca serriola L.
Bayer Code: LACSE

Prickly lettuce can be a summer annual or biennial. The woody stems of this plant are hollow, and form in the middle of a basal rosette of leaves. Leaves are deeply lobed, and clasp the base of the stem. The leaf shape is distinctive, with the indentation between lobes forming a "C" shape. Leaves are also oriented at an angle to the stem, with spines on the midrib and base of the leaf. Prickly lettuce has yellow flowers, but these can appear to be white from a distance due to the wooly hairs (pappus) on each seed. This weed is most common in row crops and roadside areas.
prickly lettuce leaf arrangement
[Click on image to view plant details]
prickly lettuce stem, leaves
prickly lettuce leaf, deeply notched
prickly lettuce spiny leaves
prickly lettuce roots
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CharacteristicTypeDescription
Growth Season summer annual weed OR biennial weed 
Growth Habit upright OR rosetteearly in the season it is a basal rosette, and then produces an upright stem in late summer
Leaflet Number one 
Leaf Margin lobed 
Leaf Hairs upper/lower surface OR leaf marginprickles are found on the midvein on the lower surface of the leaf
Leaf/Leaflet Shape linear/oblonglong and linear leaves with rounded notches in leaf margin
Leaf Width 1/2 - 1 inch OR 1 - 2 inches 
Leaf Venation pinnate 
Leaf Arrangement alternate 
Root Type taproot 
Flower Color yellow