Lettuce, Lactuca sativa is a member of the Asteraceae 'daisy' family. It is a temperate annual or biennial that is usually grown as a leaf vegetable, e.g. for salads. It is typically eaten raw, although Chinese cuisine often cooks the stem.
Lettuces prefer light, sandy, fertile soils that can hold water in summer. They typically do better in more temperate environments with day time highs below 75F and night time temperatures above 40F.
There are hundreds of cultivars but these are typically grouped into six groups according to leaf shape and color:
- Butterhead. Buttery texture.
- Chinese Lettuce. Long sword-shaped leaves. Bitter. Used in stir-fries and stews
- Crisphead / Iceberg. Tight dense head similar to cabbage. Mild flavor
- Looseleaf. Tender, delicate, mild.
- Romaine / Cos. Long head of sturdy leaves with a firm rib.
- Summer Crisp / Batavia. Moderately dense heads with crunch texture.
Use this tag for all questions about growing lettuces.