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Can anyone ID this plant?  RSS feed

 
N Thomas
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Hi,
Can any of you ID this plant? I live just outside of Boston, MA. I've been seeing a lot of these dandelion-looking plants recently. (Early June.) However, they don't have the usual rosette of dandelions. This one was found in a strawberry field & was about 18 inches high and at least 12 inches wide at its bulkiest. Thanks!



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Greg Coffey
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Location: Rhode Island
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Looks like you've come across Prickly Lettuce:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactuca_serriola

When trying to id a plant up here in New England, this is my first stop:
https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/
It's put out by the New England Wildflower Society, and is pretty darn comprehensive. I've run into some dead ends, though, when it's not the right season to see certain features, like buds or blooms.

When that happens, searching "[similar looking plant] look-a-likes" can usually bring up an image of the mystery species, and the detective work can commence from there.

Hope this helps!
 
N Thomas
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Greg Coffey wrote:Looks like you've come across Prickly Lettuce:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactuca_serriola

When trying to id a plant up here in New England, this is my first stop:
https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/
It's put out by the New England Wildflower Society, and is pretty darn comprehensive. I've run into some dead ends, though, when it's not the right season to see certain features, like buds or blooms.

When that happens, searching "[similar looking plant] look-a-likes" can usually bring up an image of the mystery species, and the detective work can commence from there.

Hope this helps!

Hi Greg,
Thanks for the ID & laying out a future research strategy. This is really helpful.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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I have prickly lettuce at my place. The goats love it. It is nutritious, though bitter. I put a leaf or two in a green smoothie or salad. The prickles are for real. If when weeding I get a grip on one of the stems, a prickle can break off in my skin, and when that happens it is a several month process for the skin to clear the prickle.

Now a days this rarely happens, because it's a painful thing to live iwth in the pad of my thumb or finger for that long. Currently I have a couple in my knee. Sonce they do not make gloves for knees, and the prickles get through the heavy denim jeans with reinforced knees, I guess the solution is to get in the habit of kneeling only on a pad.

Thanks in advance to any who want to suggest knee pads. I don't find it possible to wear those all day long for the moment when I kneel to pull an out of place plant.
 
Tim Wilkinson
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:I have prickly lettuce at my place. The goats love it. It is nutritious, though bitter. I put a leaf or two in a green smoothie or salad. The prickles are for real. If when weeding I get a grip on one of the stems, a prickle can break off in my skin, and when that happens it is a several month process for the skin to clear the prickle.

Now a days this rarely happens, because it's a painful thing to live iwth in the pad of my thumb or finger for that long. Currently I have a couple in my knee. Sonce they do not make gloves for knees, and the prickles get through the heavy denim jeans with reinforced knees, I guess the solution is to get in the habit of kneeling only on a pad.

Thanks in advance to any who want to suggest knee pads. I don't find it possible to wear those all day long for the moment when I kneel to pull an out of place plant.

Volley ball knee pads are the most comfortable
 
Lisa Allen
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Location: San Diego, CA USA
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If indeed you do have wild lettuce/prickly lettuce - it is an amazing medicine! Tincture in vodka for 6 weeks, filter (coffee filter with small colander works well) and if you want, keep adding new plant material to it to make it stronger! It is very safe to use for pain relief and insomnia - and quite effective! You may need to wash it down with something after the taste but funny, I am used to it now! Excellent to add to your chamomile-spearmint tea for evening
 
edith zahn
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I'm sorry, I don't know how to put a comment in a white quote box so that I can ask a question about it, so I just copy and pasted the comment:

"Thekla McDaniels wrote:
I have prickly lettuce at my place. The goats love it. It is nutritious, though bitter. I put a leaf or two in a green smoothie or salad. The prickles are for real. If when weeding I get a grip on one of the stems, a prickle can break off in my skin, and when that happens it is a several month process for the skin to clear the prickle.

Now a days this rarely happens, because it's a painful thing to live iwth in the pad of my thumb or finger for that long. Currently I have a couple in my knee. Sonce they do not make gloves for knees, and the prickles get through the heavy denim jeans with reinforced knees, I guess the solution is to get in the habit of kneeling only on a pad.

Thanks in advance to any who want to suggest knee pads. I don't find it possible to wear those all day long for the moment when I kneel to pull an out of place plant."[/color]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My reply/question is: I have that plant growing at my house and never knew the name of it, only that it was edible, so I was excited to see the name of it ("prickly lettuce"), but I'm confused - mine look EXACTLY like the pictures but the prickles aren't sharp - don't hurt at all. Could the prickles be nothing but show in one climate and stabbing in another, or are we talking about two different plants (??)




 
Johnny Gisson
Posts: 32
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edith zahn wrote:I'm sorry, I don't know how to put a comment in a white quote box so that I can ask a question about it, so I just copy and pasted the comment:

"Thekla McDaniels wrote:
I have prickly lettuce at my place. The goats love it. It is nutritious, though bitter. I put a leaf or two in a green smoothie or salad. The prickles are for real. If when weeding I get a grip on one of the stems, a prickle can break off in my skin, and when that happens it is a several month process for the skin to clear the prickle.

Now a days this rarely happens, because it's a painful thing to live iwth in the pad of my thumb or finger for that long. Currently I have a couple in my knee. Sonce they do not make gloves for knees, and the prickles get through the heavy denim jeans with reinforced knees, I guess the solution is to get in the habit of kneeling only on a pad.

Thanks in advance to any who want to suggest knee pads. I don't find it possible to wear those all day long for the moment when I kneel to pull an out of place plant."[/color]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My reply/question is: I have that plant growing at my house and never knew the name of it, only that it was edible, so I was excited to see the name of it ("prickly lettuce"), but I'm confused - mine look EXACTLY like the pictures but the prickles aren't sharp - don't hurt at all. Could the prickles be nothing but show in one climate and stabbing in another, or are we talking about two different plants (??)


_____________________________________________________________________

It looks to me like dandelion if it isn't lettuce.
I have bought dandelion in supermarkets sometimes that looks like that.
there are different types of dandelion with different looking leaves.



 
Thekla McDaniels
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Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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I think we are talking about the same plant. Prickly lettuce is named for those prickles on the stem and on the midrib (underside) of the leaf. It's entirely possible for them to be softer in one set of growing conditions than another, or softer at earlier stages and not so soft later. It took me a long time to realize the rare persistent thing in my skin was from the prickly lettuce plant because it has to happen just right, for the prickle to penetrate my skin rather than bending over and breaking off. If it got me every time, then it's obvious which plant is the problem, right?

Dandelions have no prickles and they don't have a tall stem, their flower is usually a lot brighter and bigger than the prickly lettuce flower. The prickly lettuce plant can get taller than 5 feet.

These common names are fairly standard, but it does highlight the difficulty of using common names across broad distances. What I should be saying is that the plants in this region that go by those names have these differences in characteristics.
 
Donna Kolaetis
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Location: South-central PA
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Prickly lettuce( which I call wild lettuce) oozes a milky sap, much more readily than dandelion ( although dandy does have some as well). My goats also love it.  The prickles do get worse - stiffer, less forgiving- as the plant matures/ the season gets drier. It occurs to me that I don't actually know which is causing the change.  I try to get it all picked and fed to the goats by the time it goes to seed.
 
David Madrigal Ortega
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Location: Cigales, Valladolid, Spain
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We also have those everywhere here in Spain and we also call them wild lettuce.
One app I use to identify  plants is Pl@ntNet (android). quite handy! You take a picture, upload it with this app and there you go! It gives you a list of possible plants. The more pics you upload, the more accurate it is
 
Rebecca Norman
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:Since they do not make gloves for knees, and the prickles get through the heavy denim jeans with reinforced knees, I guess the solution is to get in the habit of kneeling only on a pad.  

Thanks in advance to any who want to suggest knee pads.  I don't find it possible to wear those all day long for the moment when I kneel to pull an out of place plant.


Hooray for being able to squat! I wonder if I'd ever have ended up living in Asia this long if I hadn't already been able to squat. Before I ever came to Asia, I worked in a bookstore in the US, and it was great to be able to squat comfortably to reorganise books on the bottom shelf. Everyone else did horrible awkward bending over poses that would be hell on my lower back. Kneeling hurts my knees worse than squatting does. Much worse. But some people just can't squat because they have never done it and I guess their hips and knee joints hardened in the wrong positions after childhood.
 
Deb Stephens
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Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
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edith zahn wrote:I'm sorry, I don't know how to put a comment in a white quote box so that I can ask a question about it, so I just copy and pasted the comment:


Edith, If you want to quote someone, just go up to the top right corner in the box with the comment you want to quote and click where it says " quote". A message  box opens with the quote already in place for you. Just put your answer after the place where you see the word quote inside brackets and with a back slash in front of it. Then you can preview what you wrote to see if it came out okay. I hope that helps!
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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