Lactuca serriola L.

Prickly Lettuce

Cent. Pl. II 29 (1756) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Introduced

Annual or biennial, 1–2 m high; stems stiffly erect, usually unbranched below inflorescence. Leaves glaucous, margins and midrib shortly spiny; basal and lower cauline leaves sessile, c. oblanceolate to oblong, 3–18 cm long, 2–6 cm wide, entire to pinnatisect, spreading but lamina often near-vertical; upper cauline leaves similar but smaller, bract-like at inflorescences. Capitula pedunculate, solitary, axillary; involucre 6–9 mm long (to 15 mm in fruit); inner bracts longer, spreading or reflexed in fruit, green with a reddish apex. Florets slightly exceeding involucre, pale yellow; ligule 2.5–4 mm long. Cypselas obovate, 6–8 mm long (including 3–4 mm beak), minutely bristly above, grey-brown; pappus c. 5 mm long. Flowers Sep.–May.

*CVU, *DunT, *EGL, *EGU, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *GGr, *HNF, *HSF, *LoM, *MuF, *MuM, *MSB, *NIS, *OtP, *RobP, *SnM, *Strz, *VAlp, *VRiv, *VVP, *Wim. Widespread in drier parts of the State, and locally common as a roadside, garden or crop weed.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1999). Asteraceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Daniel Ohlsen, 2017-06-15
Hero image
Distribution map


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Lactuca serriola in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Lactuca serriola in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present naturalised
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Wimmera present naturalised
Glenelg Plain present introduced
Victorian Volcanic Plain present introduced
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Murray Scroll Belt present introduced
Robinvale Plains present introduced
Murray Fans present introduced
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present introduced
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Greater Grampians present introduced
Dundas Tablelands present introduced
Northern Inland Slopes present introduced
East Gippsland Lowlands present introduced
East Gippsland Uplands present introduced
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present introduced
Strzelecki Ranges present introduced
Victorian Alps present introduced
Snowy Mountains present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory