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Lactuca perennis - Blue Lettuce

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Asterales - Family: Asteraceae

Flower of Lactuca perennis,  Blue Lettuce

Also known as Mountain Lettuce, this Chicory lookalike (at least in its flower form) has basal leaves more like those of a Dandelion. One of its synonymous scientific names is Cicerbita alpina.

Lactuca perennis, |Ardeche, France

Description

Blue Lettuce, Lactuca perennis, grows to a height of about 0.6m. This erect, branching hairless perennial plant has grey-green leaves and its violet-blue flowers are typically 3-4cm across

Distribution

Blue Lettuce is found in many central and southern European countries as well as parts of North America. The specimens shown on this page were photographed in central France. In the UK Blue Lettuce is known only as a garden flower, and it is not likely to survive in the wild because it does not tolerate frosts.

Lactuca perennis, Blue Lettuce

Habitat

This is a wildflower of dry calcareous rocky habitats and favours sunny locations; it is found in hills and mountains at altitudes up to about 2000m.

Blooming times

Blue Lettuce can usually be seen in flower between April and August.