Facts about Wall Lettuce

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Wall Lettuce Quick Facts
Name: Wall Lettuce
Scientific Name: Lactuca muralis
Origin Southern Europe and western Asia
Colors Black or brown
Shapes Short beaked, spindle shaped, achene’s that are approximately 0.13 in. (0.33 cm) long
Lactuca muralis, or Mycelis muralis (L.) Dumort commonly known as wall Lettuce is a perennial flowering plant of the genus Lactuca in the family Asteraceae, subfamily Cichorioideae, tribe Cichorieae. Members of this tribe have flowers composed of either ray florets or disk florets, but never both. Wall Lettuce has always been easy to identify because it has only 5 petals on its ray flower, unlike any similar species. The plant is native to southern Europe and western Asia; it is invasive in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. It has been found from eastern Canada south to New York and west to Minnesota. In New England, it is currently mapped in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. It can be found in woodlands, especially Beech. It is also found in cancerous soils, and walls. Apart from wall lettuce it is also known as ivy-leaved lettuce. The specific Latin epithet muralist is understood as growing on walls.

Wall Lettuce Facts

Name Wall Lettuce
Scientific Name Lactuca muralis
Native Southern Europe and western Asia, wall lettuce is invasive in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. It has been found from eastern Canada south to New York and west to Minnesota. In New England, it is currently mapped in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont
Common Names Wall lettuce, ivy-leaved lettuce
Name in Other Languages Albanian: Micel i murit
Armenian: Mits’elis pati (Միցելիս պատի)
Bulgarian: Stenna salata (Стенна салата)
Catalan: lletuga de bosc, cicèrbita
Croatian: Salatika, Šalatika, zidna salatika
Czech: Mléčka zední
Danish: Skovsalat, Skov-salat
Dutch: Muurlatuw, muursla
English:  Wall lettuce, ivy-leaved lettuce
Estonian: Harilik jänesesalat
Finnish:  Jänönsalaatti,  Vuohenkaali
French:  Laitue des murs, laitue des murailles, mycélis des murs, pendrille, phénope des murailles, phénope des murs
German:  Mauerlattich, Mauer-Lattich, Mauersalat, zarter Mauerlattich, Gewöhnlicher Mauerlattich
Hungarian: Kakicsvirág
Irish: Leitís bhalla
Italian: Lattuga dei boschi, lattuga Montana
Latvian: Mūru mežsalāts
Lithuanian: Miškinė zuiksalotė, Zuiksalotė
Moldovian: Sosai peduryets mural (Сусай пэдурец мурал)
Norwegian: Skogsalat
Polish: Salatnik leśny
Romanian: Susai pădureț, Сусай пэдурец мурал
Russian: lzhelatuk stennoĭ (лжелатук стенной), mitselis stennoĭ (мицелис стенной), molokan stennoĭ (молокан стенной)
Serbian: Ajduk-trava, Ajdučica, Ajdučka loćika, Ajdučka trava, Meledina, Hajdučko zelje, ајдучица
Slovak: Mliečka múrová, šalátovka múrová
Slovenian: Mlejčni osat, Mlenčnica, Mlečni oset, Hajdušica, navadni zajčji lapuh
Spanish: Lechuga de los muros, lechuguilla de muro, lechuguina de las peñas
Swedish:  Skogssallat, Jänönsalaatti
Turkish: Divar marulu
Ukrainian: Mitselis stinnyy (міцеліс стінний)
Welsh: Gwylaeth y fagwyr
Plant Growth Habit Slender, hairless, biennial or perennial, herbaceous, flowering plant
Growing Climates Shady spruce woods and rich mixed swamps, broad-leaved forests on the lower parts of mountains and rocky places, stream valleys, springs, clear-fell areas, beside walls and ruins, parks, gardens, pavements, roadsides, fields, waste lots, walls, rocks, sometimes in beech woods
Plant Size About 25 to 150 cm (10 to 59 in) tall
Stem Erect, 2-3 ft. (0.6-0.9 m) tall, branched above and may one or more stems from a fibrous root. The stem surface is glabrous, often glaucous, and exudes milky juice when broken.
Leaf Lower leaves are lyre-shaped, pinnate shaped. The lobes are triangular in shape, the terminal lobe being the largest. The upper leaves are stalkless, smaller, less lobed and they clasp the stems with rounded toothed lobes. All leaves are red-tinged.
Flowering season July to September
Flower Flower heads are yellow, small, 1 cm (1⁄2 in) wide more or less, on branches 90 degrees to the main stem
Fruit Shape & Size Short beaked, spindle shaped, achene’s that are approximately 0.13 in. (0.33 cm) long
Fruit Color Black or brown
Propagation By Seed
Culinary Uses
  • Leaves raw are used in mixed salads.
Other Facts
  • Plant may produce up to 500 seeds in shaded sites and up to 11,500 seeds in open sites.

Plant Description

Wall Lettuce is a slender, hairless, biennial or perennial, herbaceous, flowering plant that normally grows about 25 to 150 cm (10 to 59 in) tall. The plant is found growing in shady spruce woods and rich mixed swamps, broad-leaved forests on the lower parts of mountains and rocky places, stream valleys, springs, clear-fell areas, beside walls and ruins, parks, gardens, pavements, roadsides, fields, waste lots, walls, rocks, sometimes in beech woods. Stems are erect, 2-3 ft. (0.6-0.9 m) tall, branched above and may one or more stems from a fibrous root. The stem surface is glabrous, often glucose, and exudes milky juice when broken.

Leaves

The lower leaves are lyre-shaped, pinnate shaped about 2.5-7 in. (6.4-17.8 cm) long, 1-3 in. (2.5-7.6 cm) wide, glabrous and deeply lobed, with broad, terminal segments. The lobes are triangular in shape, the terminal lobe being the largest. The upper leaves are stalked less, smaller, less lobed and they clasp the stems with rounded toothed lobes. All leaves are red-tinged.

Flower

The flower heads are yellow, small, 1 cm (1⁄2 in) wide more or less, on branches 90 degrees to the main stem. It flowers from June until September. It has 5 yellow ray florets.

Its main characteristic is an open airy clump 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 (0.20–0.28 in) in length. There are no disc flowers.

Fruit

Fertile flowers are followed by short beaked, spindle shaped, achene’s that are approximately 0.13 in. (0.33 cm) long, several-nerved, and black or brown. The papas have simple white hairs, the inner longer than the outer that may disperse seeds long distances by wind.

Controlling Methods

It’s easy to pull it once you know how to spot it. Wear gloves, since the milky sap can irritate some people’s skin. Pull gently and firmly by the base of the stem and it should pop out; or use a trowel if you need leverage. If the plant has a flower or wispy seed heads, pull them off and put in a plastic bag for disposal; the rest of the plant can be composted, left on the ground to dry, or placed in a black plastic bag or a tarp to prevent re-growth.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=503893#null
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+muralis
https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=MYMU
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactuca_muralis
https://www.invasiveplantatlas.org/subject.html?sub=13084
http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/gcc-116089
https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/MYLMU
https://gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org/species/mycelis/muralis/
https://cisma-suasco.org/invasive/wall-lettuce/

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