Plant ID forum: Is this the prickly wild lettuce?

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Name: Mi Krumm
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
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MunSung1075
Feb 28, 2018 10:10 PM CST
I found this and at first thought it was a dandelion. Someone suggested wild lettuce and it looks like that for sure. Especially with the hairs I saw. Thought it was spiny at first but the hairs seems soft. Picture taken late February in south Alabama.
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Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
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pepper23
Mar 1, 2018 3:32 AM CST
Dandelion. Prickly lettuce grows tall and stiff and if you break off a leaf it smells like strong lettuce. This is definitely dandelion.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Mar 1, 2018 8:24 AM CST
Possibly Sonchus asper. White latex sap would be in favor of that, but Sonchus & Lactuca are hard to sort to me. You might need to see a bloom to reach certainty.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Mar 1, 2018 9:30 AM CST
Prickly lettuce has a row of spines along the underside of the midrib as in the first few of these pictures:

https://www.google.ca/search?q...

Can you post a picture from further out, showing the whole plant including the leaf tips?
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Mar 1, 2018 11:24 AM CST
I wouldn't assume all of the pics are of the same plant, having searched using a nickname, not botanical epithet. Not all images on a goog image search have been labeled correctly, or relate to the words used to search.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Mar 1, 2018 2:02 PM CST
All I said was look at the spines under the midrib on the first few images and compare with the plant. This is a prime identifying characteristic for prickly lettuce. As an alternative, see this page for identification of prickly lettuce from Ohio State U weed guide, seventh image down:

http://www.oardc.ohio-state.ed...

If there was any growing here right now I'd post my own picture of the spines but it's still winter here.

Edited to add this one from the database showing the spines, although the leaf is upside down:


If the spines are absent then we'd be looking at something else like maybe Sonchus but a pic of the whole plant would help.
[Last edited by sooby - Mar 1, 2018 2:06 PM (+)]
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Name: Mi Krumm
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
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MunSung1075
Mar 1, 2018 5:13 PM CST
I thought my notifications would have turned red and did not know anyone had answered until now. Sorry. These are some more pictures of it. I broke open one of the stalks leading up to the leaf and it was a clear, almost with a brownish look to it. I tasted part of it and it was not really bitter but tasted like regular lettuce to me to be honest. Others in another site was mentioning them being a bitter bitter even young. Whatever they are i imagine they are edible and I'm going to wash and eat it because I don't want to drive 20 minutes into town for something to make a salad with lol. My niece and nephew visited and there three friends was with them and it jr was out those little kids all do like salads.
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Name: Mi Krumm
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
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MunSung1075
Mar 1, 2018 5:14 PM CST
Not that I'm feeding them it. They already visited and left and now I'm wanting a salad for dinner.
Name: Mi Krumm
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
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MunSung1075
Mar 1, 2018 5:15 PM CST
They did at first make me think of dandelion but they are not rounded off like many of them I've seen.
Name: Mi Krumm
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
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MunSung1075
Mar 1, 2018 5:42 PM CST
There is not really any significant spines just little hairs underneath it.
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Mar 1, 2018 6:51 PM CST
Have you eaten your new-found salad? Feeling okay?
Porkpal
Name: Mi Krumm
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
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MunSung1075
Mar 1, 2018 7:07 PM CST
Not yet it's still soaking but I ate a small salad worth before and was fine. I've tasted it on and off before and everything has always been fine.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Mar 1, 2018 7:55 PM CST
With no midrib spines and no milky juice it's not Sonchus, prickly lettuce or dandelion. Unless someone recognizes it you may need to wait until it flowers. Tasting is is not the same as eating a whole bowl of it.
[Last edited by sooby - Mar 1, 2018 7:57 PM (+)]
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Mar 2, 2018 8:26 AM CST
If I'm following the common name usage here, prickly lettuce is being used for one species of Lactuca, serriola. This genus has many members.

Mi, you probably know about this site, but just in case not: http://www.eattheweeds.com/

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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Mar 2, 2018 8:41 AM CST
purpleinopp said:If I'm following the common name usage here, prickly lettuce is being used for one species of Lactuca, serriola. This genus has many members.


In general one would expect all Lactuca to have milky sap because that's what Lactuca means (lac as in lactate).

Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Mar 2, 2018 9:00 AM CST
That's much more informative!
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Name: Bonnie Martin-Norman
Perdido, AL (Zone 8b)
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BamaGrits
May 29, 2018 10:07 AM CST
You need to look up Lactuca Virosa which is the real WILD LETTUCE used for medicinal purposes. Also, watch YT Vid's by Mike Reed Outdoors as he has very good identifying footage of the actual plants in real life that make your search for them easier. I live in southern AL (Zone 8b) also and right now the Wild Lettuce is going to seed (some have already gone to seed with the heat we have had lately). Let the flowers bloom/seed then harvest for the BEST concentration of the milky latex that is used for medicinal purposes. I just found some Lactuca Virosa that was 10 & 12 ft tall!! It has a single hollow tube stalk as it matures. Lactuca Serriola is prickly lettuce. When searching online it can get very confusing as some call Lactuca Virosa Lactuca Serriola as well as Milk Thistle, Milkweed which can be misleading. Are you wanting the EDIBLE PRICKLY LETTUCE or the MEDICINAL LETTUCE, I guess is my question for you. They ALL have medicinal properties, some like the Lactuca Virosa has the highest levels and the most bitter. This might help in your research to look up Wild Lettuce Facts & Health Benefits. I will try to get some pic's later today of the different species of wild lettuce and upload for you.

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