Lactuca tatarica: Blue lettuce–The Race Rocks taxonomy

flower blue lettuce

The introduced invasive species Lactuca tatarica appears occasionally at Race Rocks

Cautionary note in case someone gets hungry on the island:

“The milky-sap from this plant, contains a medicinal compound called ‘lactucarium’. It has been used for its pain-relieving, antispasmodic, digestive, urinating-inducing, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative inducing properties If one injests the plant it is used to treat insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, and rheumatic pain. An external dose can even be applied to warts. However, it should be noted that this plant should not be used in these cases excepted by trained professionals. This is because the plant, even in small doses, could lead to death through cardiac paralysis.” (

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. tatarica
Lactuca tatarica

Other Angiosperms at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.