Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Prickly Lettuce - Lactuca serriola  
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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DistributionMore-or-less throughout the state, although apparently absent from the southern Coastal Plain. This gap is probably an artifact of collecting.

Native of Europe; in N.A. throughout.
AbundanceUncommon in the Mountains, frequent to locally common in the Piedmont and Sandhills, uncommon to fairly common in the northern and central Coastal Plain.
HabitatRoadsides, railroads, fields, cropfields, waste ground, vacant lots, campus weed, barnyards, clearings.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting June-October.
IdentificationPrickly Lettuce usually looks like it is made up of two halves: the lower half leafy and upper half the inflorescence. The leaves are cut similar to those of Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), but they are often oriented sideways, and the midrib beneath is prickly. The heads are yellow. It differs from the quite common native L. canadensis in the stem color -- whitish or very pale green, versus medium to dark green to reddish in that and many other species.
Taxonomic CommentsNamed as Lactuca scariola in RAB (1968) and in other older references.

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State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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