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Prickly lettuce, Lechuga silvestre

Lactuca virosa

Description:

Lactuca virosa is a plant ingested often for its mild psychotropic (specifically hypnotic or sedative) effects which are often described as being similar to that of opium. It is related to common lettuce (L. sativa). It is taller than prickly lettuce Lactuca serriola (up to 200 cm) although very similar. The achene is purple black, without bristles at the tip. The leaves grow along a spiny stem and get progressively smaller as they reach its top. They emit latex when cut. Many flowers are produced and usually appear in the upper part of the plant. It has a hairless reddish stem, containing a milky latex, growing up to 200cm. The leaves are oblong lanceolate, often pinnated (especially for the lower leaves), waxy grey green. Fine spines are along the edges. The undersides have whitish veins. The flower heads are 11 to 13mm wide, are pale yellow, often tinged purple. The bracts are also often tinged purple. It flowers from July until September.

Habitat:

Spotted at the edge of a local road

Notes:

The plant can be eaten as a salad, although it has something of a bitter taste. Young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The Ancient Greeks called the lettuce eunuch because it caused urination and relaxed sexual desire.

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62 Comments (1–25)

arlanda
arlanda 6 years ago

Thanks Mayra

MayraSpringmann
MayraSpringmann 6 years ago

WOW!!!!!! fascinating!!!

arlanda
arlanda 6 years ago

Thanks Teacher Marie

Marie Cuenca
Marie Cuenca 6 years ago

Super like!! :-)

arlanda
arlanda 6 years ago

Thanks J, You really have an impressive collection

arlanda
arlanda 6 years ago

Thanks asergio, you are very nice

arlanda
arlanda 6 years ago

Thanks Leana,

Congratulations on your wonderful spotting and SOTD arlanda!

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 6 years ago

Congratulations, Angel, well deserved SOTD.

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 6 years ago

Congratulations on a wonderful series! You have a great collection!

arlanda
arlanda 6 years ago

Thanks Marylsis, maybe I should have tried, hahaha:))))

arlanda
arlanda 6 years ago

Thanks Jeannette

MaryIsis
MaryIsis 6 years ago

interesting info!! thank you for that. I think I have heard of this being put into smoking blends....I wonder if it even works that way for the desired effects..??:)

Jeannette
Jeannette 6 years ago

Congratulations :)

arlanda
arlanda 6 years ago

Gracias Noe and Pili, hacia tiempo que no sabia de vosotros!

arlanda
arlanda 6 years ago

Thanks Ashish

Noe and Pili
Noe and Pili 6 years ago

Congrats on your SOTD!
Preciosa foto :)

Ashish Nimkar
Ashish Nimkar 6 years ago

Congratulations Angel

arlanda
arlanda 6 years ago

Thanks Adarsha

Adarsha B S
Adarsha B S 6 years ago

Very interesting Arlanda :) Congrats...

arlanda
arlanda 6 years ago

Actually Joshua, I would say that in this case the beauty comes from the symmetry, in some way the opposit to crazyness

arlanda
arlanda 6 years ago

You are right Karen, it should be eaten regularly by most of us!! :))))

arlanda
arlanda 6 years ago

Thanks Carol

arlanda
arlanda 6 years ago

Thanks Atul, you are very nice

arlanda
arlanda 6 years ago

Thanks Harsha,

arlanda
Spotted by
arlanda

O Saviñao, Galicia, Spain

Lat: 42.62, Long: -7.70

Spotted on Aug 13, 2012
Submitted on Oct 16, 2012

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Reference