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Russian Lettuce

Lactuca tatarica

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, French Tarragon, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Golden Samphire, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Purple Coltsfoot, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yarrow, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Roadsides, sand dunes, seaside, wasteland.

Blue, many petals
Lilac-blue, dandelion-like flowers. White flowers are rare. Pollinated by insects.
A seed surrounded by feather-like hairs (pappus). The fruit is similar to that of a dandelion.
The leaves are pinnately lobed, similar in appearance to the Dandelion. The end lobe is the largest. The majority of leaves are basal leaves. The upper leaves are smaller than the basal leaves. Perennial.
Other Names:
Blue Lettuce, Chicory Lettuce, Russian Blue Lettuce, Tartarian Lettuce, Tatar Lettuce, Wild Blue Lettuce, Wild Lettuce.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Lactuca tatarica is a species of lettuce that is native to Asia and Europe. It is also known as the Tatar lettuce or wild lettuce. It is a biennial or perennial plant that can grow up to 60cm tall. The leaves are lanceolate, blue-green and covered in soft hairs. The flowers are yellow and grow in a large, open inflorescence. The seeds are small and dark. It is a wild plant that can often be found along roadsides and in disturbed areas, but it is also cultivated for its medicinal properties. The leaves and the milky sap of the plant are traditionally used to relieve pain, and it is also used in some remedies for asthma, insomnia and anxiety, similar to Lactuca saligna. However, it should be noted that some people may be allergic to the sap and it should be used with caution.


Russian lettuce, scientifically known as Lactuca tatarica, is a plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is a herbaceous perennial plant that is native to Russia, Central Asia, and parts of Europe. The plant is widely used in traditional medicine and is also an important food source in some parts of the world.


Russian lettuce is a plant that grows up to 60 cm in height. It has a thick, fleshy taproot and long, narrow leaves that are light green in color. The leaves are covered in small, soft hairs and are arranged in a rosette pattern around the stem. The plant produces small, yellow flowers that are arranged in clusters at the top of the stem. The flowers are followed by small, brown seeds.


Russian lettuce grows best in well-drained soils that are rich in organic matter. It prefers full sun but can also tolerate partial shade. The plant is hardy and can withstand cold temperatures, making it suitable for cultivation in colder climates. It is usually propagated through seed sowing, and the seeds should be sown in the spring.


Russian lettuce has several uses, both medicinal and culinary. In traditional medicine, the plant is believed to have a range of health benefits. The leaves and roots are used to treat digestive problems, respiratory disorders, and skin conditions. The plant is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

In cooking, Russian lettuce is used in salads and as a garnish. The leaves have a slightly bitter taste and a crunchy texture, making them a popular ingredient in salads. The leaves can also be sautéed or stir-fried as a side dish.

In addition to its culinary and medicinal uses, Russian lettuce is also used in landscaping. Its attractive foliage and yellow flowers make it a popular ornamental plant in gardens.


Russian lettuce is a versatile plant that has several uses in traditional medicine, cooking, and landscaping. Its hardy nature and cold tolerance make it suitable for cultivation in colder climates. With its attractive foliage and yellow flowers, it is a plant that is not only functional but also adds beauty to gardens and landscapes. If you are interested in trying out this plant in your garden or in your cooking, be sure to do some research on its specific growing requirements and consult with a gardening expert or nutritionist before using it in any medicinal capacity.

Blog continued...

Russian lettuce, also known as Tatar lettuce or Kaliuga lettuce, has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. The plant has been used to treat a variety of ailments, such as gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory conditions, and skin problems. The leaves and roots of the plant contain compounds that are believed to have medicinal properties, including antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and analgesics.

In addition to its medicinal benefits, Russian lettuce is a nutritious vegetable that can be a great addition to a healthy diet. It is low in calories and high in fiber, which can help promote digestion and prevent constipation. The leaves are also a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as minerals such as potassium, calcium, and iron.

Russian lettuce is a popular ingredient in Russian and Central Asian cuisine. In Russia, it is commonly used in salads, soups, and as a garnish for meat dishes. In Central Asia, it is used in a dish called "kaurma", which is a stew made with lamb or beef and vegetables.

Russian lettuce is relatively easy to grow, and it can be grown in containers or in garden beds. It is a hardy plant that can withstand cold temperatures and is resistant to pests and diseases. The plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun, but it can also tolerate partial shade.

Russian lettuce is a versatile plant that has several uses in traditional medicine, cooking, and landscaping. Its medicinal properties, nutritional value, and culinary uses make it a valuable addition to any garden or kitchen. If you are interested in trying out this plant, be sure to do your research on its specific growing requirements and consult with a nutritionist or herbalist before using it in any medicinal capacity.

Russian lettuce has been used in traditional medicine for a long time, and its potential health benefits are still being studied today. Research has shown that the plant contains compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help to protect against chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

One study found that extracts from Russian lettuce had antimicrobial properties and were effective against a range of bacteria, including those that cause foodborne illnesses. Another study found that the plant had a diuretic effect, which could help to lower blood pressure and reduce edema.

Russian lettuce is also being studied for its potential use in the pharmaceutical industry. Scientists have discovered that the plant contains compounds that can be used to synthesize new drugs for the treatment of cancer and other diseases.

In addition to its medicinal and nutritional uses, Russian lettuce is also an important part of traditional culture in some parts of the world. In Russia, it is a symbol of good luck and is often included in traditional celebrations and rituals.

Overall, Russian lettuce is a versatile and valuable plant that has a range of uses and benefits. Whether you are interested in its medicinal properties, nutritional value, or culinary uses, it is a plant that is definitely worth exploring. If you decide to grow or use Russian lettuce, be sure to do your research and consult with a professional before using it for medicinal purposes.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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