Its chief characteristic is its open airy clumps of yellow flowers. Each "flower" is actually a composite flower, consisting of 4–5 petal-like flowers (strap or ray flowers), each approximately 5–7 mm (0.20–0.28 in) in length. There are no disc flowers. Lactuca muralis grows about 2–4 feet (0.6–1.2 m) tall with the lower leaves pinnately toothed and clasping.
Lactuca muralis is slender, hairless herb growing from 25 to 150 cm (10 to 59 in) tall. It often has purplish stems, and exudes a milky juice.
The 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 and less lobed. All leaves are red tinged.
The flower heads are yellow, small with only 4–5 yellow ray florets. 1 cm (1⁄2 in) wide more or less, on branches 90 degrees to the main stem, in loose panicle. It flowers from June until September.
Distribution and ecologyEdit
Lactuca muralis is a native of Europe but has invaded shady roadsides, paths and logged areas of the Pacific Northwest and New England It has become naturalized in parts of Northern Ireland as long ago as 1913. It was first recorded in The Burren, where it is now frequent, in 1939.
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- "Lactuca muralis". Tropicos. Missouri Botanical Garden.
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- Altervista Flora Italiana, Lactuca muralis (L.) Gaertn. includes photos and European distribution map
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- Blamey, Fitter, Fitter, Marjorie, Richard, Alistair (2003). Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland. A & C Black - London. pp. 302–303. ISBN 0-7136-5944-0.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
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- "Mycelis muralis (wall-lettuce)". Go Botany. New England Wildflower Society. Retrieved 2018-06-24..
- Hackney, P. Ed. 1992. Stewart and Corry's Flora of the North-east of Ireland. Institute of Irish Studies and The Queen's University of Belfast. ISBN 0 85389 446 9(HB)
- "Online Atlas of the British and Irish Flora:Mycelis muralis". Biological Records centre and Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 18 June 2020.