Lactuca perennis, common names: mountain lettuce, blue lettuce or perennial lettuce, is a perennial herbaceous plant species belonging to the genus Lactuca of the daisy family. It is widespread across most of central and southern Europe.
Lactuca perennis reaches on average 60 centimetres (24 in) of height, with a minimum height of 20 centimetres (7.9 in). This plant is glabrous, the stems is erect and branched, leaves are greyish-green, the lower ones with a small petioles, the upper ones partly amplexicaul. It is hermaphrodite and entomophilous. The flowers are violet-blue, with a size of 30–40 millimetres (1.2–1.6 in). The flowering period extends from April through August and the seeds ripen from July until September.
These plants prefer calcareous well-drained soils and they are common on sunny rocky soils, on dry meadows, on roadsides and on banks of rivers. They can be found on average at 500–2,000 metres (1,600–6,600 ft) above sea level.
This wild lettuce has an abundant white latex (hence the Latin name lactuca of the species, meaning milk) containing the substance "lactucarium" with many medicinal properties. It is especially useful as sedative, but the plant should be used with caution.
- illustration from 1796 Figure 47 from Deutschlands Flora in Abbildungen by Johann Georg Sturm (Painter: Jacob Sturm)
- "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
- Altervista Flora Italiana, Lactuca perennis L.
- Pignatti S. - Flora d'Italia - Edagricole – 1982. vol. III
- Medicinal Herbs
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