SCIENTIFIC NAME: Lactuca sativa
COMMON NAME(S): Lettuce
FAMILY: ASTERACEAE (COMPOSITAE) - Sunflower family
HABITAT: Vegetable gardens, supermarket produce
HEIGHT: To 3'
CHARACTERISTICS: Stem short, leaves in basal rosette until flowering, often with milky sap
LEAVES: Alternate, short stemmed, oblong, often dissected, to 10" long
FLOWERS: Tiny, borne in small, dense heads, 1/2" in diameter, the heads arranged densely on a branched-stem
FLOWERING SEASON: Summer
FRUITS: Small, 1-seeded, dry
ALLERGENIC PRINCIPLES: Sesquiterpene lactones
ALLERGENIC PROPERTIES: Dermatological
COMMENTS: Contact dermatitis from lettuce has infrequently been observed.