Lactuca capensis

Botanical Name: Lactuca capensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Lactuca

Habitat:Lactuca capensis is native to S. Africa. It grows on lower mountain slopes, Lion’s Head to Constantia.

Description:
Lactuca capensis is a perennial herb growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

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Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a light sandy loam.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually quick, prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in early summer. Division in spring.
Edible Uses: Young plant – cooked.

Medicinal Uses :
Although we have seen no specific reports for this species, most if not all members of the genus have a milky sap that contains the substance ‘lactucarium‘ and can probably be used as the report below details. The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains ‘lactucarium’, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts.

Known Hazards:  Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, many plants in this genus contain a narcotic principle, this is at its most concentrated when the plant begins to flower. This principle has been almost bred out of the cultivated forms of lettuce but is produced when the plant starts to go to seed

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactuca
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+capensis

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Lactuca canadensis

 

Botanical Name : Lactuca canadensis
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. canadensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Cicerbita canadensis (L.) Wallr.
*Cicerbita elongata (Willd.) Wallr.
*Galathenium elongatum (Muhl. ex Willd.) Nutt.
*Galathenium salicifolium Nutt.
*Lactuca sagittifolia Elliott
*Lactuca steelei Britton
*Mulgedium canadense (L.) Farw.
*Mulgedium integrifolium Cass.
*Wiestia canadensis (L.) Sch.Bip.
*Wiestia elongata (Willd.) Sch.Bip.

Common Names: Canada lettuce, Canada wild lettuce, tall lettuce, and Florida blue lettuce.

Habitat: Lactuca canadensis is native to Eastern N. America – Nova Scotia to British Columbia, south to Georgia and Colorado. It grows in thickets, woodland borders and clearings. Moist open places. Usually found in sandy soils.

Description:
Lactuca canadensis is a bienneial growing to 3 m (9ft 10in). The leaves are deeply lobed and occasionally toothed. The top of the stem bears an inflorescence with many flower heads, each up to 1 cm (0.5 in) wide when open. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The heads have many pale yellow ray florets but no disc florets. The fruit is a dark-colored achene about half a centimeter (0.2 inches) long with a white pappus.
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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Prefers a light sandy loam. Hybridizes in the wild with L. ludoviciana and the two species can sometimes be difficult to separate.

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly quick.
Edible Uses: Young leaves and stems – raw or cooked. Cooked and eaten as greens.

Medicinal Uses :
The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air[4]. The sap contains ‘lactucarium’, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts.

Known Hazards : Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, many plants in this genus contain a narcotic principle, this is at its most concentrated when the plant begins to flower. This principle has been almost bred out of the cultivated forms of lettuce but is produced when the plant starts to go to seed.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactuca_canadensis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+canadensis

Lactuca biennis

Botanical Name: Lactuca biennis
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. biennis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonymy:
*Sonchus biennis Moench 1794
*Agathyrsus floridanus D.Don
*Agathyrsus leucophaeus Beck
*Cicerbita leucophaea Wallr.
*Cicerbita spicata (Lam.) Beauverd
*Galathenium multiflorum (DC.) Nutt.
*Lactuca leucophaea A.Gray
*Lactuca spicata (Lam.) Kuntze
*Lactuca spicata Hitchc.
*Lactuca terrae-novae Fernald
*Mulgedium leucophaeum DC.
*Mulgedium spicatum (Lam.) Small
*Sonchus leucophaeus Willd.
*Sonchus spicatus Lam.

Common Names: Tall blue lettuce and Blue wood lettuce.

Habitat:Lactuca biennis is native to Eastern N. America. It is widespread across much of the United States and Canada from Alaska and Yukon south as far as California, New Mexico, and Georgia. It grows on damp thickets.

Description:
Lactuca biennis is a biennial herb in the dandelion tribe within the daisy family growing from a taproot to heights anywhere from one half to four meters (20 inches to over 13 feet). There are deeply lobed, toothed leaves all along the stem. The top of the stem bears a multibranched inflorescence with many flower heads. Each head is just over a centimeter (0.4 inches) wide and has many whitish to light blue ray florets but no disc florets. The fruit is a mottled achene about half a centimeter (0.2 inches) long with a brownish pappus.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Medicinal Uses:
The root is analgesic, antiemetic and haemostatic. A decoction has been used in the treatment of body pain, but not pain in the limbs. The decoction has also been used in the treatment of haemorrhages, heart troubles, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactuca_biennis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+biennis

Lactuca sativa angustana

Botanical Name: Lactuca sativa angustana
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. sativa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms : L. sativa asparagina

Common Name: Celtuce

Habitat: Garden origin, it is probably derived from L. serriola. Grown in cultivated bed.

Description:
Lactuca sativa angustana is an annual or biennial herb growing to 0.6 m (2ft). It is a surface-rooting plant, the roots can be damaged by hoeing. A good companion for strawberries, carrots, radishes and onions.
It is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.

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Prefers a light sandy loam. Succeeds in most well-drained, humus-rich soils but dislikes acid conditions. Prefers some shade in the summer to slow down the plants tendency to go to seed and to prevent the leaves becoming bitter.

Cultivation:
Prefers a light sandy loam. Succeeds in most well-drained, humus-rich soils but dislikes acid conditions. Prefers some shade in the summer to slow down the plants tendency to go to seed and to prevent the leaves becoming bitter. Plants can resist some frost, they can also tolerate temperatures in excess of 27°c. They are fairly resistant to bolting, though they can run to seed prematurely in very hot conditions. The celtuce is a form of lettuce with a longer and thicker central stem, it is sometimes cultivated for its edible leaves and stems. There are some named varieties. It takes 3 – 4 months from sowing before the stems are ready to harvest. A surface-rooting plant, the roots can be damaged by hoeing. A good companion for strawberries, carrots, radishes and onions.

Propagation:
Seed – sow March to June in situ. Seedlings can be transplanted. Seed becomes dormant at temperatures above 27°c.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. A mild, slightly sweet flavour, they are rather more coarse than ordinary lettuce, though they make an acceptable ingredient in mixed salads. Old leaves become coarser and bitter. Stem – raw or cooked. Thick, tender, crisp and juicy, its flavour is variously described as being like lettuce, celery, artichoke, squash, asparagus or chard. It is usually peeled before being used. The stems can be harvested just before the plants flower without them turning bitter, though they might become hollow at this stage.

Medicinal Uses:
The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air[4]. The sap contains ‘lactucarium‘, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. The cultivated lettuce does not contain as much lactucarium as the wild species, most being produced when the plant is in flower. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used[9]. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts. The seed is anodyne and galactogogue. Lettuce has acquired a folk reputation as an anaphrodisiac, anodyne, carminative, diuretic, emollient, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, hypnotic, narcotic, parasiticide and sedative.

Other Uses : Parasiticide. No further details are given, but it is probably the sap of flowering plants that is used. The seed is said to be used to make hair grow on scar tissue.

Known Hazards: The mature plant is mildly toxic.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

Lactuca sativa


http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+sativa+angustana
Lactuca sativa angustana, Celtuce, untreated

Lactuca sativa capitata

Botanical Name : Lactuca sativa capitata
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. sativa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name: Cabbage Lettuce

Habitat: Of garden origin, probably derived from L. serriola. It is grown on caltivated bed.

Description:
Lactuca sativa capitata is an annual or biennial herb growing to 0.9 m (3ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.

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Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Prefers a light sandy loam. Succeeds in most well-drained, humus-rich soils but dislikes acid conditions. Plants strongly dislike dry conditions, quickly running to seed in such a situation. Early and late sowings are best in a sunny position, but summer crops are best given a position with some shade in order to slow down the plants tendency to go to seed and to prevent the leaves becoming bitter. The garden lettuce is widely cultivated in many parts of the world for its edible leaves and is probably the most commonly grown salad plant. This is the heading form of lettuce, including the Iceberg and Butterhead varieties. There are many named varieties[183] capable of providing fresh leaves throughout the year if winter protection is given in temperate areas. Lettuces are quite a problematic crop to grow. They require quite a lot of attention to protect them from pests such as slugs, aphids and birds. If the weather is hot and dry the plants tend to run very quickly to seed, developing a bitter flavour as they do so. In wet weather they are likely to develop fungal diseases. In addition, the seed needs to be sown at regular intervals of 2- 3 weeks during the growing season in order to provide a regular supply of leaves. Lettuces make a good companion plant for strawberries, carrots, radishes and onions. They also grow well with cucumbers, cabbages and beetroot.

Propagation :
Seed – sow a small quantity of seed in situ every 2 or 3 weeks from March (with protection in cooler areas) to June and make another sowing in August/September for a winter/spring crop. Only just cover the seed. Germination is usually rapid and good, thin the plants if necessary, these thinnings can be transplanted to produce a slightly later crop (but they will need to be well watered in dry weather). More certain winter crops can be obtained by sowing in a frame in September/October and again in January/February.
Edible Uses :
Leaves – raw or cooked. A mild slightly sweet flavour with a crisp texture, lettuce is a very commonly used salad leaf and can also be cooked as a potherb or be added to soups etc. The plant forms a head of leaves in a similar way to cabbages. The whole head is usually harvested at one time. Seed – sprouted and used in salads or sandwiches. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. The seed is very small, extraction of the oil on any scale would not be very feasible.
Medicinal Uses :
The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains ‘lactucarium‘, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets[4], nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. The cultivated lettuce does not contain as much lactucarium as the wild species, most being produced when the plant is in flower. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts. The seed is anodyne and galactogogue. Lettuce has acquired a folk reputation as an anaphrodisiac, anodyne, carminative, diuretic, emollient, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, hypnotic, narcotic, parasiticide and sedative.

Other Uses :
The seed is said to be used to make hair grow on scar tissue

Known Hazards: Matured plant is littlebit toxic.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lettuce
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+sativa+capitata