New York Natural Heritage Program
False Lettuce
Lactuca floridana (L.) Gaertn.
Dicots

General Description [-]
This plant is a tall annual or perennial wildflower that grows up to 2 meters tall. The leaf blades only have hairs along the main veins beneath and they vary from elliptic with a few teeth to very lobed or even these few leaflets at the base. The 11-17 (sometimes up to 25) flowers are bluish, or white in a large open inflorescence. The pappus is bright white. The achenes are 4-6 mm long, gray-black and mottled and several-nerved on each face.. The outer fruits are often distinctly thick-beaked, the inner are beakless.

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification [-]
The best time to identify this species is when it is in fruit.

Similar Species [-]
Lactuca biennis has a light brown pappus and elongate, narrowly paniculiform inflorescence.
False Lettuce Images
click to enlarge
The Best Time to See
The plants flower in July and August and mature fruits develop August through mid-October.
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Flowering Fruiting
The time of year you would expect to find False Lettuce flowering (blue shading) and fruiting (orange shading) in New York.