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

(39 customer reviews)


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 winter to 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 serriola), 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 (Lactucin) and sesquiterpene lactones.  Sow in spring or fall, in pots outdoors or directly in beds outdoors.  Barely cover seed with soil and tamp securely, then keep cool and evenly moist until germination, which takes 10 to 20 days.  In very cold soil conditions (freezing and thawing), germination will take longer.  Seeds planted outdoors on 2_11_22, rampant germination on 3_18_2022, in concert with full moon, 37 day induction period. Meanwhile very warm soil temperatures will retard or disallow germination. Indoor growers will often be disappointed–the wild plant needs cool temperatures to germinate.  Transplant or thin to 6 inches apart.  Flowers yellow to 6 feet.

Packet contains ~20 seeds
1 g contains ~1,200 seeds

Certified Organically Grown

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