Botanical Name: Lactuca debilis
Common Names: ShaTanKuMaiCai (Chinese)
Habitat:Lactuca debilis is native to E. Asia – Japan, Korea.(Distribution: Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Zhejiang, Fujian, Henan, Guangdong) It grows in the cultivated fields and waste ground in lowlands all over Japan.
Lactuca debilis is a perennial herb growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in). The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) 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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We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in this country, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. We suggest growing it in a sunny position and a well-drained soil.
Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame in spring and only just covering the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division can be tried in spring or autumn.
Edible Uses: Young plant – cooked
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