Wall Lettuce

Wall Lettuce, Vancouver Island, BC
Wall Lettuce, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo By Bud Logan

Wall Lettuce is a plant that loves the cold northwest growing conditions, it grows all over the BC coast. You can also find it from Alaska south to Oregon and as far east as the Rockies. It flowers from June to October. Look along shady roadsides, open fields, logged-off areas, and other disturbed sites. Although native to Europe, it is now fully established on the coast.

It is a flowering plant with small batches of yellow flowers. Each flower is made up of five-petal flowers, each from 5 to 7 mm in length. Its stalk can reach heights of up to 150 cm and is thin, hairless, bleeds a milky liquid if damaged, and quite often is a purple color. The leaves are smaller towards the top of the plant and all have a red tinge to them.

Wall lettuce only reproduces by seed. Plants that grow along shady roads may only produce up to 500 seeds, but plants that are growing in full sun in open areas can produce over 11,000 seeds. Wall lettuce will grow in full shade and full sun and all conditions between. This plant adapts to a wide range of soil conditions and will invade any disturbed habitat.

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