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Lactuca virosa in profile

B and T World Seeds' reference: 24078

Lactuca virosa, Asteraceae.

Common Names:
Bitter Lettuce, Great Lettuce, Lactucarium, Laitue vireuse, Opium Lettuce, Rakutu-Karyumu-So, Rauschlattich, Wild Lettuce, Zehirli Marul.

Pale yellow, large open clusters

Maroon elliptical flat seeds 3mm+

obovate to oblong, dentate to pinnatifid

to 1.6m.


Medicinal: sedative, pain relieving, expectorant.

Minimum Temperature:
USDA zone: 6 (-23,50 to -18,00 Centigrade)


Approx. 50000 Lactuca virosa plants per hectare (about 18 inches - 45 cm apart), for this you need about 100 grams of seed (130000 seeds) depending on your sowing method. Can be started like any other lettuce - it is possible to start in plugs, but direct sowing in the Autumn and thinning in the spring is recommended.

Sow the seeds in Autumn (exact dates depend on your local weather conditions), germination will be erratic if the weather is too hot, but normally within 2 weeks - the plants prefer well drained to dry alkaline soil with adequate organic material. A high nitrogen fertiliser should increase the alkaloid strength as should a spell of hot dry weather shortly before harvesting.

Seed count roughly 1300 seeds in 1 Gram.

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