Lactuca floridana

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Lactuca floridana
Lact flor.jpg
Photo by Guy Anglin, Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae ⁄ Compositae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. floridana
Binomial name
Lactuca floridana
(L.) Gaertn.
LACT FLOR dist.jpg
Natural range of Lactuca floridana from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: woodland lettuce[1]

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: none[1]

Varieties: Lactuca floridana var. floridana; Lactuca floridana var. villosa (Jacquin) Cronquist; Mulgedium floridanum (Linnaeus) A.P. de Candolle; Mulgedium villosum (Jacquin) Small[1]


A description of Lactuca floridana is provided in The Flora of North America.


This plant occurs north in New York, Manitoba, and Minnesota, and south to Florida and Texas.[1]



This species can be found in mesic coastal calcareous hammocks, mesic woodlands, moist edges of ponds, upland hardwood forest remnants, and bordering small streams.[2] It also does well in disturbed areas near boat landings, on camping areas, along railroad banks, weedy areas, pastured fields, and clearings of swamps and woodlands.[2] It grows can grow in fully shaded to partial shade environments in loamy and oyster shell soils.[2] Associated species include longleaf pine, oak, hickory, beech, magnolia, and sweetgum.[2]

Lactuca floridana is an indicator species for the North Florida Longleaf Woodlands community type as described in Carr et al. (2010).[3]


L. floridana has been observed flowering in April to June, and August through October and fruiting in October and December.[2][4]

Herbivory and toxicology

Lactuca floridana has been observed to host the aphid Aphis sp. (family Aphididae).[5]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Similar to cultivated lettuce, wild lettuce species can be used as salad greens.[6]

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Weakley, A.S. 2020. Flora of the Southeastern United States. Edition of 20 October 2020. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, A. H. Curtiss, A. Gholson Jr., Robert K. Godfrey, C. Jackson, R. Kral, T. MacClendon, K. MacClendon, Richard S. Mitchell, Harry Neel, Gil Nelson, J. B. Nelson, George R. Cooley, Carroll E. Wood, Jr., and Kenneth A. Wilson. States and Counties: Florida: Calhoun, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Hernando, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Masidon, Taylor, and Wakulla.
  3. Carr, S.C., K.M. Robertson, and R.K. Peet. 2010. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75:153-189.
  4. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 12 DEC 2016
  5. [1]
  6. Fernald, et al. 1958. Edible Plants of Eastern North America. Harper and Row Publishers, New York.