WESTERN WILD LETTUCE
File Size: 74 KB
 
Lactuca ludoviciana   (Nutt. ) Riddell
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Biennial
Height: 3-6 feet
Family: Asteraceae - Sunflower Family
Flowering Period:   July, August, September
Stems: Erect, usually unbranched below, glabrous, containing sticky, brownish latex.
Leaves: Alternate, simple to pinnately lobed, sessile or clasping, ovate to obovate, 8 to 12 inches long, 2 to 4 inches wide; midribs on underside of blades sometimes bristly; margins conspicuously spiny-toothed.
Inflorescences: Panicles, open, cone-shaped; heads terminal, 50-100 heads; bracts lance-shaped, about 1/2 inch long.
Flowers: Ray florets 20-30, light blue, pale yellow, or bluish with yellow tips; disk florets absent.
Fruits: Achenes, flat, dark brown, enclosing small seed; beaks thread-like, tipped with numerous white bristles.
Habitat: Open prairies and disturbed areas, most abundant on limestone soils.
Distribution: Throughout Kansas.
Comments: The flowers are open for only a brief time in the morning.

Western wild lettuce flower
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Western wild lettuce leaves
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Western wild lettuce bracts and styles
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Western wild lettuce achenes and pappus
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Western wild lettuce
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Western wild lettuce
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Russell County, Kansas
Western wild lettuce
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Russell County, Kansas
Western wild lettuce
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Western wild lettuce head
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Western wild lettuce achenes
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Western wild lettuce leaf
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Western wild lettuce
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Western wild lettuce
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Western wild lettuce
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas