Plants ordered today will begin shipping in April of 2024

Lettuce, Wild (Wild Lettuce) (Lactuca virosa), potted plant, organic

$8.50$57.00

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. Transplant or thin to 6 inches apart.  Flowers yellow to 6 feet.

Potted plant, certified organically grown

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  1. Question

    Joe Pulford

    I live near Olympia, WA. I have questions about the right time to plant seeds here, quantities, and any suggestions re this region. Thank you

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Joe, Thanks for getting in touch. Wild lettuce is going to act like a biennial or overwintering annual in Olympia. One plants the seeds now, overwinters the rosette, it grows slowly through the winter, and it goes to flower around midsummer of the following year, which is also the best time to make the harvest. Actually you can eat the leaves as a winter salad ingredient as well, they are good that way. Many people will confuse this plant with the local prickly lettuce. it is better eating because it is NOT prickly. richo

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  2. Question

    Christine Lanfair

    Please confirm these plants will have running sap not dry sap.

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  3. Question

    Donna Pandori (verified owner)

    Hi Richo, I’m from northern Indiana.

    1. I Purchased 3 of the Lactuca virosa in early spring. Have them outside in pots but they grew only a few inches high with some additional leaf growth. Did I fail by not transplanting directly into ground? How tall does this variety get?

    2. I read wild lettuce is a Biennial, will not flower first year but will the next. What’s the bes way to keep a yearly patch viable for harvesting?

    Thank you.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hi donna, right, they might have made bigger plants with more resources (planted in ground). Anyhow, best to harvest in second year when the plant goes to flower–more biomass and lactucarium at that time. you harvest at the peak and make the medicine–thats the way to keep it. richo

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  4. 2 out of 2 people found this helpful

    Question

    Eimi (verified owner)

    Hi Richo, for central Texas, should I put this wild lettuce in part shade/dabbled sun? I wonder how well it does in our summer heat… Thank you for your advice in advance!

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    • 2 out of 2 people found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hello eimi, my hope is that since we’ve been growing these outdoors in pots for 6 months through the winter that when you plant it in texas it will get big and go to flower. Give it a rich soil, keep it moist and yes, dappled sun is probably prudent. richo

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  5. Question

    Alana Sereno (verified owner)

    Hi Richo, if I plant this in my yard will is self seed for growth next year? I’m in NJ.

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  6. Question

    Stephen Kenoyer

    I want to buy different plants you sell, but I noticed that they will be sent October. I was wanting buy and receive the plants in the the spring. Can I do that?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hi stephen, yes, you can visit us after Jan 1 and place your plant order then, for spring delivery. A good reason to wait is, we will be listing a wider selection at that time. richo

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  7. Question

    Pam

    will the seeds work the same as a grown plant

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Pam, The seeds are not in and of themselves a medicinal agent. The seeds may be used to grow the plant that contains the lactucarium. Many people are having good results with the seeds at this time, due to nice cool soils warming into spring. it is a good time to plant them outside. Richo

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    • Tracy

      I want to order a plant but if it doesn’t come till early June will it still be ok to keep potted and put outside or in my green house?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Tracy, Yes, the plants are already started so it’ll be growing more here, then there. richo

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    • Jennifer Hall

      Hello, Will this potted plant survive in Florida?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      yes, its probably a good idea for you to buy this as a plant. the seeds are hard to start in warm soils but the plant grows fine in warm soils. richo

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  8. Question

    Erin Pech

    Is this a variety of wild lettuce?
    It’s coming up everywhere next to the roadside.
    It has small spines on the underside of the leaves.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Erin,
      Its Lactuca serriola, which is used interchangeably with Lactuca virosa as a source of lactucarium. serriola is not as fun a plant, though, the spines are unpleasant. r

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  9. Question

    LP Norris

    when will you have wild lettuce plants available?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hello LP, Thank you for staying in touch. We normally don’t offer annuals in potted plant form. Most growers are going to do better planting these in-situ from seed. Under the circumstances we don’t have plans, but if you click the “waitlist” option you’ll get an e-mail when they come back on.
      Richo

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  10. Question

    Harry Odum

    Do you have wild lettuce seeds for sale?

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  11. Question

    Shannon

    My wild lettuce is growing so well in my garden. This spring it is getting very large and the leaves are not starting to turn bitter. It is my understanding that you can tincture the plant? Is there a resource you would recommend on what part of the plant and how? Do I use the whole plant? Do I have to wilt it first? I have a couple of your books but can’t seem to find a recipe for this particular plant. Thank you for providing such lovely medicinal seeds and plants. I don’t know how to use the picture function or I would show you how happy the plant is amongst my comfrey, yarrow, and lemon balm.

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Shannon, “You extract the lactucarium or you dry the leaves and make a tea or tincture according to the basic formulae given in “Making Plant Medicine.” Here’s the youtube I made on the subject, will answer your questions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mtVNtV1dVk&t=204s
      richo

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    • bnailling

      Hi, I’m a beginner. I am trying to germinate my seeds now. I placed them on a folded DAMP paper towel and into a plastic bag (not a zip lock style bag) and placed the bag in the refrigerator seven days ago. I pulled them out of the frig yesterday for a peek. Nothing had germinated, Should I set them out for some sun, or just wait a few more days, I read somewhere use only a damp towel and germination could be a few to ten days. I used the frig method because the high temp a few days ago was in the 90’s where now we’re in the low 70’s to high 40’s. Any guidance to can provide will be helpful I’m sure.

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi, Now that you’ve cold-stratified the seeds, it would be best to plant them in pots according to the directions on our website: “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.” The problem with pulling info from diverse spots on the web is that there are many sites that give rote information linked to a species and the writer never even planted the seeds once. It makes more sense to follow the species-specific directions of the company that is actually growing and distributing the seeds, because clearly they know how to do it. Here’s a link to a blog that will help you get to the next level https://blog.strictlymedicinalseeds.com/advanced-seed-planting-tips/
      Richo

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  12. Question

    Kathryn

    Do these seeds and plants come with growing instructions?? thank you

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