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© √Čtienne Lacroix-Carignan

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Inclusion in Plant ID / Comparison Guides

This photo is featured in 2 plant ID/comparison guides:

collage of Tall Blue Lettuce and Canada Lettuce

Tall Blue Lettuce (Lactuca biennis) vs. Canada Lettuce (Lactuca canadensis)

Updated June 10th, 2024

Lactuca species have notoriously variable leaf shapes. These species are often confused by people unfamiliar with them, but they are usually easy to tell apart, especially when they are blooming or making seeds. There is significant overlap in habitat, and plants can often be found growing side-by-side, but L. biennis is slightly more shade-tolerant and more restricted to partly-shaded, moister habitats, and more neutral soils, whereas L. canadensis ventures into drier, sunnier conditions, ranges much farther south, and is more tolerant of acidic soils. Because of variability, it is important to check multiple characteristics.

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collage of Tall Blue Lettuce and Woodland Lettuce

Tall Blue Lettuce (Lactuca biennis) vs. Woodland Lettuce (Lactuca floridana)

Updated April 16th, 2023

These species are easily confused in the limited zone in which their ranges overlap. They can usually be distinguished by differences in flower size and seeds. They have differences in leaf shape and bloom time, but with some overlap in both characteristics. Both tend to grow in partly-shaded, moist, disturbed habitats in rich soils, and for the most part, L. biennis is the more northerly species occupying a similar niche as L. floridana, the more southerly species, but L. floridana ranges farther north in the central US, and L. biennis is also found in the West. Where they overlap, L. floridana tends to prefer shadier, moister, and slightly less disturbed habitats than L. biennis.

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