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Sow thistle or lettuce?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 7
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My camera is not the best but I'm not sure this has to be a lettuce. It's quite young. And has no spines under it's leaves.
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author
Posts: 235
Location: Ireland
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Same family anyway... Looks like dandelion to me Taraxicum genus.
 
Posts: 67
Location: Vermont
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hard to tell from the fuzzy photo but looks like sow thistle to my husband.  It is edible, but bitter at that age.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonchus_oleraceus
a good facebook place for plant identification is https://www.facebook.com/groups/156706504394635/?multi_permalinks=1906081939457074¬if_id=1531277082398428¬if_t=group_highlights
 
Posts: 72
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I'm not at all sure it's either one. There are plenty of other, unrelated things it could be, and I would want to see a better example before I'd eat it or encourage anyone to. I do have some questions that could help nail it down:
1) can you get a photo from a bit further away? The camera might shoot a clearer picture if it werent so close, and also we could get a sense of the plant's general stance.
2) does it have milky sap?
3) what is the root like?
 
pollinator
Posts: 914
Location: Longbranch, WA
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It looks like the wild lettuce I have posted about befor and eat regularly. It has some variability so selecting the seeds from the best tasting can get a land race that is best for your conditions. I have a lot of seed availabe so P M me if interested. It makes a shalow rooted fast growing edible cover crop.
 
Jamie Chevalier
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I have not seen that pink blush at the base of the stem in wild lettuce around my place. I would say that of the things named so far, it looks the most like dandelion. But there is no way that anyone could be sure from a fuzzy photo without flowers or information about other parts of the plant. If we knew whether the sap is clear or opaque white, that would at least place it in (or out) of the lettuce/sow thistle/dandelion group. Without that piece of information, it could be a primula for all we know. They often have that blush at the base and serrated leaves. I'd recommend taking it to your cooperative extension agent or a local wild foods teacher if you really want to know for sure. And they will look at the sap and root first thing. Leaves alone just arent that unique. Once you know a plant well, you automatically note things like texture, vein pattern, and other subtle clues that add up to recognition, in the same way that your friends' facial features do. But for an unknown plant it's important to know more than just the leaf shape of one wilted specimen in a fuzzy photo.
 
pioneer
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Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
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Sow thistle does not have a stem separating the stalk from the leaves, so I do not think that's what it is. http://www.eattheweeds.com/sonchus-sow-thistle-in-a-pigs-eye-2/

To me, it looks like a wild lettuce that stupidly sprouted as the seasonal drought began. Simply stressed out. My wild lettuce that I allow to self seed, generally has a stalk that is thicker. Again, I think yours is spindly due to stress. Sometimes I end up with a failed potted planting of something, and lettuce seed ends up in it. This is generally what these sprouts end up looking like.

Your potting soil looks decent, Maybe you've got too much fertilizer in there for a wild food. Wild food will grow in good soil, in the ground, but it really does not like to be coddled.
 
Jamie Chevalier
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Is there some part of the conversation I missed?  This is being posed as a binary choice, so perhaps the part I missed is that seeds of both sow thistle and wild lettuce were sown in that pot and are thus the only likely choices.

If that is not the case, then I would still caution that while those are very possible--even probable--solutions, it is a dangerous habit to ask is "It A or B?" when you haven't actually eliminated the possibility of it being Z, S, or Q.

Can you tell us what caused you to narrow it down to those choices?
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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