Plant Image
Willow Lake - SS

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Lactuca serrio - prickly lettuce

Other Common Names: wild lettuce
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Asteraceae

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Bracts and flowers
Willow Lake
Flower head
Willow Lake
Leaf attachment
Willow Lake
Willow Lake
Plant - summer
Willow Lake
Watson Lake
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Introduced   Life Cycle: Biennial or annual
General Desc: A weed with yellow flowers, from a large taproot, with stems filled with a milky juice. Principal stem branches where flowering occurs or sometimes a few short branches from the base. Introduced from Europe, now naturalized.
Height: To 6 feet


Habitat Description: Roadsides, disturbed soil.
Plant Communities: Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 1000 - 8000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Yellow     Shape: Daisy or Dandelion-like in round clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: May - Oct
Description: Small flowerheads, to 1/3 inch wide, open during the morning hours. Flowers composed only of ray flowers.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Bluish-green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Pinnatifid     Leaf Margin: Lobed     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: Y
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: Y
Leaf Description: Prominent sharp spines appear on the back side of the midrib. Leaves to 10 inches long at base, graduating to smaller size on upper stem. Leaves have prominent white midvein.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Grey or yellowish   
Fruit Type: Achene
Fruit Notes: Each flowering head has 6 to 30 flattened fruits with 5 to 7 parallel ridges on each side. The fruit are bristly near the top.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 3.1  
Last Updated: June 15, 2013  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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