|Figure 88. Prickly lettuce (Lactuca scariola)|
Other common names.Wild opium, wild lettuce.
Habitat and range.The prickly lettuce occurs in fields and waste places from Vermont to Georgia and westward to the Pacific coast.
Description.This is a bright-green plant, from 2 to 7 feet high, covered with a whitish bloom. It has an erect, rigid stem sometimes smooth throughout but at times hairy at the base, with numerous clasping, oblong lance-shaped leaves with finely toothed margins and spiny bristles along the under side of the midrib. The lower leaves are at times 10 inches long and 3 inches wide, but the upper ones are much smaller. The pale yellow flowers, which appear in the early fall, occur in very numerous heads up to a third of an inch broad, having the feathery appearance of the ripe dandelion bloom, arranged in open clusters, each head consisting of 6 to 12 flowers.
Part used.The leaves.