Lettuce, Wild (Wild Lettuce) (Lactuca virosa) seeds, organic

(25 customer reviews)

$3.95$67.10

Family:  Aster (Asteracea)

Hardy to Zones 5 to 9, readily grown as a spring-planted annual

(Lettuce Opium, Wild Lettuce, Bitter Lettuce)  Overwintering annual or biennial.  Native to Central and Southern Europe.  Young plants of giant wild lettuce are a good ingredient for heroic salads.  I eat the leaves freely in the early spring.  This is the most cold hardy of all lettuces, in the right circumstances producing very reasonable salads midwinter, which is before the plant goes tough and bitter.  Lactuca virosa is a preferred wild species from Europe–highest latex content, nutrient dense, good winter salad, bright purple-black seeds, much less spiny than the weedy types (e.g Lactuca spinosa), which we do not carry.  Traditional usage (TWM): Sedative, pain-relieving, antispasmodic, digestive bitter, euphoric used to treat insomnia, restlessness, bodily pain, painful menses, digestive woes.  Source of lactucarium, the white latex that contains alkaloids (Lactulin) and sesquiterpene lactones.  Sow in spring or fall, in pots or directly in beds outdoors.  Barely cover seed with soil and tamp securely, then keep evenly moist until germination, which takes 10 to 20 days.  Very warm soil temperatures retard or disallow germination. Transplant or thin to 6 inches apart.  Flowers yellow to 6 feet.

Packet contains ~50 seeds
1 g contains ~1,200 seeds
5 g contains ~6,000 seeds
10 g contains ~12,000 seeds

Certified Organically Grown

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5 out of 5 stars

25 reviews

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What others are saying

  1. Question

    David Hamner (verified owner)

    I just purchased wild lettuce seeds, but I was wondering how deep a pot does it need and how much sun? Loved the catalog! Thx, David

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi David, The wild lettuce does OK in a gallon pot and it will take sun to part shade. Richo

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  2. Jan

    Stratifying SEEMS Complicated...But its ONE AND DONE!!!

    Jan (verified owner)

    I put 2 packets of seeds in the fridge between damp…paper towels. For a few weeks supposedly …but it might have been the summer…because they got pushed to the back of the fridge.and forgot about. I Really wet the Paper towels and let them sit for a few hours because it looked like the baby roots were sticking. Planted them…GORGEOUS!!!

    The pix on the right was from inside my greenhouse…in which they seem to prefer…left was on the covered porch.

    I buy a ton from Strictlymedicinal and I trust them with all of my Seed Needs!!!

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    • Bob

      I bought my seeds last year they were (stamped: packed for 2018) stuck in a kitchen drawer and forgotten. I would like to plant them this winter. Your literature emphasizes winter growth potential and the need for cold soil germination. I live in North East Texas where the cold months Oct-Mar have an average low temp of 35.6⁰F with extremes below freezing. My question: At what temp should I germinate the seeds? Thank you, Bob

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Bob, We recently tested that batch to 92% germ. You can germinate them at about 60 degrees F. When temperatures oscillate (warm in the day, cold at night) germination is enhanced. Richo

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    • bob

      Hi Richo, thank you for your response I’ll keep an eye out for the 92% and let you know it goes,

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  3. Question

    Kimberlee

    Can you grow this in a pot?

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Kimberlee, Yes, the plants work well started in pots (sow only when the weather cools down) and should be transplanted to an outdoor bed when the roots fill the pot.
      Richo

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  4. Question

    Karl Bruno

    How islactua virosa growing inhot climate (Thailand) ?

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    • Diana

      Diana

      Hi There, Not particularly good, it is a cool soil germinator and a winter grower.

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    • One person found this helpful

      jeff.scrimsher (verified owner)

      I started some in the fall and some in spring. The ones that were started in fall are doing much better. They had no trouble growing in freezing temperatures (mid teens).

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  5. Question

    Becky

    Hello,
    Can you use this plant as medicinal if you are allergic to Latex?!
    Thank you,
    Becky

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Becky,
      The chemical composition of latex from different plants differs. I think most people are allergic to Hevea which is the tropical rubber tree. I use the term “latex” pretty loosely in reference to wild lettuce and I’ve never seen anyone have an adverse reaction to it.
      Riho

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  6. One person found this helpful
    Catherine Boyington

    It really helps my arthritis pain

    Catherine Boyington

    I chew a leaf every time I work in the garden and it really helps my arthritis pain.

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    • Joyce Hill

      So I won’t have to cook it like I read? Just eat the leaves?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Joyce,
      Where did you hear about cooking wild lettuce? That would be like cooking a salad. Here’a s link to my youtube showing how to collect lactucarium

      Richo

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  7. Sally

    Grows just fine here in North Texas

    Sally (verified owner)

    I planted this here last year and the ones i planted in the shade have stuck around and are really looking good in January. I didn’t know these would do so well here in the winter, when will they start making flowers? I use wild lettuce for mild pain relief. I usually make a tincture or just eat the dried plant. Sometimes add leaves to my salad. Thank you!

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Sally,
      Thanks for the good reporting, it is helpful to all of us. Yes, they are winter growers, as long as your winter is not too cold, and your’s isn’t. They’re going to go right to flower in the spring, you should be extracting lactucarium in May.
      Richo

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  8. Question

    Jay the needs to grow wild lettuce man in los ang

    hello, I would like to buy seeds but it is a yet again situation, as I have now bought 200 seeds, 50 at a time, each from different sellers, and not one has sprouted, ever. Can I buy a seedling? thanks!

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hello Jay, I keep retesting the wild lettuce every time someone says it doesn’t work and it always works for me. You have to be sure the planting is not getting too hot. we had the plants listed for some months and now we are not shipping again until the spring. they will be available to los angeles with shipping starting March 15th. Richo

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    • Sanne P

      November 23rd Jay
      Question for Richo
      As stated previously. the seeds are fresh, do the seeds need stratification
      before germination?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Sanne, At this time (4/18/2019) our wild lettuce seed is dry-stored from the 2018 harvest. Wild lettuce doesn’t need stratification, but it germinates best in a cool and moist soil. Richo

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    • Sanne P

      Sanne P
      Thank you, Rico, for your prompt answer. We’ll have no problems staying moist in the Hoosier State. (Above average rainfall for May 2019 and cool soils

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    • Joyce Hill

      I live in Omer, Michigan. Can I grow my seeds in the shade under my pine tree where my Bleeding Heart is?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Joyce,
      Maybe not the best spot. Open garden situation better.
      Richo

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  9. One person found this helpful

    Question

    duane thompson

    wild lettuce, lactuca virosa.. is this the plant that can be cooked down and made into a pain reducer? back in 1600’s in usa, people would cook it down and use, when couldn’t get opium.

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    • 1 out of 2 people found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Yes, it is the same plant.

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  10. Question

    Ilene

    Any way for this to grow in 4B?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Yes, wild lettuce grows almost anywhere. Start early, cool soils are best for germination.

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    • Brenda

      I live in zone 5 will this self seed like borage?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Brenda, It does self-seed, and around here at least we see them coming up all through the winter. For you it would probably be an early spring thing. Kind of like borage, usually in sparse colonies around where the mother plants grew. r

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  11. Tom

    Tom

    So I wonder if I should try to grow some down in Ft. Lauderdale area – zone 10? What’s the worst that could happen – doesn’t grow and out a few bucks??

    What is the Kava that you speak of? You have seeds for that?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      You can try–it is a winter grower so might not work, but frankly tons of people grow things outside their supposed zone limits all the time. its a microsite consideration more than anything. we do have Piper sarmentosum which is in the same genus as KavaKava and we have tulsi which is, like kava, an anxiolytic.

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    • john a adams

      will this grow in east Texas? Kilgore Tx area and when should it be planted?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi John, Wild lettuce grows almost everywhere. It needs cool soils for germ so should be rainy season/winter planted in your area.
      Richo

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Lisa, its wild lettuce not white lettuce. It wants to be planted outdoors as soon as the ground can be worked. doesn’t mind frost. probably won’t be happy indoors. you might be able to find a tincture on the marketplace, we work with the seeds only.

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  12. Walt

    Walt

    will this grow in Orlando Fl area? .

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Walt, This is listed as a Zone 5 to 9, and Orlando is a 9b, so you should be fine. Richo

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  13. Yvette

    Yvette

    Will this grow in South Africa?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      yes

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  14. Ole MI guy

    Ole MI guy

    Deer tolerant plants? Have a lot of deer here.

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      actually, no, deer love this plant. that said i do have plenty of these that have been in deer areas and made it through to flowering stage and beyond. deer are browsers, not grazers, and will take a bit of this and a bit of that. if there is very little for them to eat, then they will eat all of what there is. if there is lots for them to eat, as at my place, then plenty of deer food goes uneaten. r

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    • james

      that’s why deers fly in allegory…..because they are high lol xx they, along with fox’s, love to eat amanita too..

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  15. One person found this helpful
    Richo Cech

    Admin Richo Cech

    Wild Lettuce is a winter lettuce, growing in cold soils in the north. Maybe Kava would be a more appropriate painkiller for the tropics.

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    • Nancy chavez

      I live in Arizona. Will it grow here

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      yes

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    • Darren Broadfoot

      Do you ship seed packs to Canada?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Yes!

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  16. Wi girl

    Wi girl

    Could I grow indoors during the winter in Wisconsin? What would you recommend?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Wild lettuce does best planted in late summer and overwintered as a rosette, with flowering the following summer. I imagine you’d want to use at least a cold greenhouse in Wisconsin, either that or sow in very early spring. They grow well in cold soils, but snow isn’t going to help.

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  17. Alice Gail Fritts

    Alice Gail Fritts

    I Would like to purchase lactosa viruses seed for pain of fibromyalgia

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Yes, Lactuca virosa, the European wild lettuce. We obtained seed from Europe many years ago, you can differentiate the european form from the american form because the (superior) european type makes black seeds. We collect these daily throughout the summer, carefully clean them, and package with care. When you buy from us, you get fresh seeds. People have good results with them. You can buy them here at strictlymedicinalseeds.com.

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    • Mike (verified owner)

      2 emails and no response. Feel like I’ve just been scammed

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Where are you sending your e-mails? customer service is inservice@strcitlymedicinalseeds.com

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    • Susan

      Can I eat wild lettuce if I am allegeric to latex?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Yes, this is a different kind of latex, it is not the same as rubber tree latex.

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