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Lactuca serriola L.
Family Asteraceae
Common name: Prickly Lettuce

Lactuca serriola L. APNI*

Description: Biennial 1–2 m high; stem glabrous or bristly, whitish.

Leaves glaucous, margins and midrib with spines; lower leaves obovate-oblong, usually deeply pinnatifid, rarely margins entire; cauline leaves stem-clasping, with acute to obtuse auricles, usually held in a vertical plane.

Heads solitary in axils of reduced leaves, pedicellate; involucral bracts 3- or 4-seriate.

Achenes 6–8 mm long, body 3–4 mm long, 5–9-ribbed on each face, minutely spiny below beak; pappus c. 3 mm long.


Herbarium
Sheet

Flowering: September–April

Distribution and occurrence: Common widespread weed of gardens, roadsides, wasteland, cultivation and degraded pastures. Native of Europe, Asia.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS, *NWP, *SWP, *NFWP, *SFWP
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *Tas. *W.A. *S.A. *N.T.
AVH map***

Two forms of this species are recognised, both of which occur in NSW.

Text by L. Murray, edited C. Herscovitch Sep 2008, per I.R. Thompson in Muelleria 25:59-100 (2007)
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 3 (1992)

 Key to the forms 
1Leaves to c. 20 cm long, glaucous, margins and midrib with spines; lower leaves obovate-oblong, usually deeply pinnatifid, rarely margins entire; stem leaves clasping, with acute to obtuse auricles, usually held in a vertical plane, lobate to subpinnatisect in middle third of stemf. serriola
Leaves to c. 20 cm long, glaucous, margins and midrib with spines; lower leaves obovate-oblong, stem leaves clasping, with acute to obtuse auricles, usually held in a vertical plane, mid-stem leaves entire or sometimes with a few shallow broad teeth; upper stem leaves and branch leaves entiref. integrifolia

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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