Lactuca muralis

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Lactuca muralis
Mycelis muralis.jpeg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. muralis
Binomial name
Lactuca muralis
(L.) Gaertn.
Synonyms
  • Lactuca muralis Fresen
  • Mycelis muralis Dumort

Lactuca muralis (wall lettuce), or Mycelis muralis, is a perennial flowering plant of the genus Lactuca in the family Asteraceae, subfamily Cichorioideae, tribe Cichorieae.

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.[1]

It can be found in woodlands, especially Beech. It is also found in calcerous soils, and walls.

Description[edit]

Mycelis muralis a2.jpg

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.[2]

The achenes are short beaked, spindle shaped and black. The pappus has simple white hairs, the inner longer than the outer.

The flower heads are yellow, small, 1 cm wide more or less, on branches 90 degrees to the main stem. It flowers from June until September.[3] It has 5 yellow ray florets.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Turner and Gustafson, Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest.
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ Rose, Francis (1981). The Wild Flower Key. Frederick Warne & Co. pp. 390–391. ISBN 0-7232-2419-6. 
  4. ^ Sterry, Paul (2006). Complete British Wild Flowers. HarperColins Publishers Ltd. pp. 212–213. ISBN 978-0-00-781484-8.