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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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