Lactuca L.

This genus is accepted, and its native range is Old World, N. America to Guatemala, Bahamas, Hispaniola.


M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008]

Morphology General Habit
Herbs or subshrubs, with white latex
Morphology Leaves
Leaves alternate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Capitula often in paniculate inflorescences; involucre cylindrical; receptacle naked
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Achenes flattened, distinctly beaked, usually with ribs; pappus of smooth or scabrid bristles.
Over 100 species in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America, one widely cultivated.


Compositae, H. Beentje, C. Jeffrey & D.J.N. Hind. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2005

Morphology General Habit
Annual or perennial herbs or subshrubs, rarely scandent
Morphology Leaves
Leaves alternate or in a rosette, variable from entire to pinnatisect, often spinulose, sometimes reduced
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Capitulum
Capitula in various inflorescences, generally corymbose or paniculate; phyllaries unequal, in several series, the outermost smallest; receptacle epaleate, with ± fimbriate alveolae
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Florets
Florets with anthers sagittate at base, auricles acute or shortly setaceous-acuminate; style branches long with conspicuous sweeping hairs
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Achenes lengthening after anthesis, flattened, usually ribbed, generally with a distinct beak; pappus of bristles.


Compositae, G. V. Pope. Flora Zambesiaca 6:1. 1992

Morphology General Habit
Annual, perennial or biennial herbs, erect often scapigerous, sometimes scandent.
Morphology Stem
Stems mostly solitary and branched above, glabrous, crispate-pubescent or setulose, rarely spinescent.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves radical, or cauline and alternate, often auriculate-amplexicaul, undivided to deeply runcinate-pinnatisect, or rarely pinnately compound, margins entire or remotely denticulate to coarsely dentate, glabrous or crispate-pubescent to setulose, rarely spinose-setose on midribs beneath, often glaucous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Capitulum
Capitula few to numerous, corymbose or thyrsoid-paniculate, sometimes solitary.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Phyllaries
Phyllaries 3–5-seriate, elongating in the fruiting stage.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Receptacle
Receptacle epaleate, alveolate; alveolae ± fimbriate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corollas yellow whitish purplish or blue.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Anthers
Anthers sagittate at the base, auricles acute or shortly setaceous-acuminate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style branches long with conspicuous sweeping hairs.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Achenes homomorphic, ± ellipsoidal, ± compressed, apex constricted and produced as a distinct filamentous beak, or beak absent; achene body ribbed, minutely rugose-scabridulous, ascending-hispidulous; pappus several-seriate of uniform white or straw-coloured, barbellate setae, rarely with an outer ring of minute setae.

Native to:

Afghanistan, Alabama, Alaska, Albania, Alberta, Algeria, Altay, Amur, Angola, Arizona, Arkansas, Assam, Austria, Azores, Bahamas, Baleares, Baltic States, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Borneo, British Columbia, Bulgaria, Burkina, Burundi, Buryatiya, California, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canary Is., Cape Provinces, Central African Repu, Central European Rus, Chad, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Chita, Colorado, Congo, Connecticut, Corse, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Delaware, Denmark, District of Columbia, Dominican Republic, East Aegean Is., East European Russia, East Himalaya, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, Florida, France, Free State, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Gulf of Guinea Is., Hainan, Haiti, Hungary, Idaho, Illinois, India, Indiana, Inner Mongolia, Iowa, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Irkutsk, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jawa, Kamchatka, Kansas, Kazakhstan, Kentucky, Kenya, Khabarovsk, Kirgizstan, Korea, Krasnoyarsk, Kriti, Krym, Kuril Is., KwaZulu-Natal, Labrador, Laos, Lebanon-Syria, Lesotho, Lesser Sunda Is., Liberia, Libya, Louisiana, Madagascar, Madeira, Magadan, Maine, Malawi, Mali, Manchuria, Manitoba, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Mongolia, Montana, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nansei-shoto, Nebraska, Nepal, Netherlands, Nevada, New Brunswick, New Guinea, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Newfoundland, Nigeria, North Carolina, North Caucasus, North Dakota, North European Russi, Northern Provinces, Northwest European R, Northwest Territorie, Norway, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oman, Ontario, Oregon, Pakistan, Palestine, Pennsylvania, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Primorye, Prince Edward I., Qinghai, Québec, Rhode I., Romania, Rwanda, Sakhalin, Sardegna, Saskatchewan, Saudi Arabia, Sicilia, Sierra Leone, Sinai, Somalia, South Carolina, South Dakota, South European Russi, Spain, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tennessee, Texas, Thailand, Tibet, Togo, Transcaucasus, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Tuva, Uganda, Ukraine, Utah, Uzbekistan, Vermont, Vietnam, Virginia, Washington, West Himalaya, West Siberia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Xinjiang, Yakutskiya, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Yukon, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Introduced into:

Antipodean Is., Argentina Northeast, Bangladesh, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil South, Cape Verde, Caroline Is., Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Gulf States, Hawaii, Honduras, Jamaica, Marianas, Marshall Is., Mauritania, Mauritius, New South Wales, New Zealand North, Nicaragua, Niue, Norfolk Is., Northern Territory, Panamá, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Queensland, Réunion, Seychelles, South Australia, Tasmania, Trinidad-Tobago, Tristan da Cunha, Tubuai Is., Uruguay, Venezuela, Victoria, Wake I., Western Australia

Lactuca L. appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Sp. Pl.: 795 (1753)

Accepted by

  • Roskov Y. & al. (eds.) (2018). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands.


Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • —F.T.A. 3: 450.

Flora Zambesiaca

  • C. Jeffrey in Kew Bull. 18: 436–457, figs. 2–8 (1966).
  • Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 348 (1754).
  • Sp. Pl. 2: 795 (1753)

Flora of Somalia

  • Flora Somalia, (2000) Author: by M. Thulin [updated by M. Thulin 2008]

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • C. Jeffrey in K.B. 18: 436 (1966)
  • K. Bremer, Asteraceae Clad. & Class.: 184 (1994)
  • L., Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 348 (1754)
  • Sp. Pl.: 795 (1753)

  • Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora Zambesiaca

  • Flora of Somalia

    Flora of Somalia

  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.