Its chief characteristic is an open airy clumps of yellow flowers. Each "flower" is actually a composite flower, consisting of five petal-like flowers (strap or ray flowers), each approximately 5–7 mm in length. Lactuca muralis grows about 2–4 feet tall with the lower leaves pinnately toothed and clasping.
It is a native of Europe but has invaded shady roadsides, paths and logged areas of the Pacific Northwest.
It can be found in woodlands, especially Beech. It is also found in calcerous soils, and walls.
It grows from 25 to 150 cm tall, is slender and hairless. It often has purplish stems, and exudes a milky juice.
The lower leaves are lyre shaped, pinnate shaped. The lobes are triangular in shape. The upper leaves are stalkless, smaller and less lobed. All leaves are red tinged.
The achenes are short beaked, spindle shaped and black. The pappus has simple white hairs, the inner longer than the outer.
- Turner and Gustafson, Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest.
- Blamey, Fitter, Fitter, Marjorie, Richard, Alistair (2003). Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland. A & C Black - London. pp. 302–303. ISBN 0-7136-5944-0.
- Rose, Francis (1981). The Wild Flower Key. Frederick Warne & Co. pp. 390–391. ISBN 0-7232-2419-6.
- Sterry, Paul (2006). Complete British Wild Flowers. HarperColins Publishers Ltd. pp. 212–213. ISBN 978-0-00-781484-8.
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