Lactuca canadensis – Canada Wild Lettuce

Page Created by Connecticut Foraging Club
Upcoming Events | Meet the Instructors | Plant Archive | Mushroom Archive

Canada Wild Lettuce (Lactuca canadensis) is a native edible and medicinal plant in the Daisy family.
Wild lettuces can be identified by the hairs on the bottom of the leaf’s central vein. In Lactuca canadensis, the hairs are less consistent than in other species of Wild Lettuce.
The young leaves and stems are edible but should be eaten in moderation. Leaves can be eaten raw in a salad or boiled to remove bitterness.
Wild lettuce produces a milky sap, called Lactucarium, from its leaves, stem, and roots when cut. Lactucarium is an analgesic and sedative. It has been used in the treatment of insomnia, osteoarthritis, and anxiety. The concentration of Lactucarium is highest when the plant is in bloom.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *