Prickly Lettuce
Lactuca scariola L. (Asteraceae)

Common Names
Prickly lettuce, compass plant, wild lettuce, wild opium.

An annual or perennial that grows to 2 feet in height. Flowers are yellow, but purple or bluish when dried. Stem has a few prickles. Leaves are cleft, with lobes arranged on either side of a common axis.

Flowering Period
June to October.

Cultivated fields, waste or disturbed areas, dry soil, and gardens.

Leaves in summer or fall; milky juice of the stem in summer.

The milky juice of this plant is extremely irritating to the eyes. The whole herb has been used as a diuretic, antispasmodic, and emollient.

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