Lamb's lettuce Facts

Lamb's lettuce Facts
Lamb's lettuce is herbaceous plant that belongs to the honeysuckle family. It grows natively in many parts of Europe, North Africa and West Asia. Lamb's lettuce thrives the best in areas with mild climate, on the rich, moist soil and it can be often seen on the coastal meadows, cliffs and along the railroads. It is classified as weed in Europe and Asia because it frequently grows in the fields with commercially important cereals. Lamb's lettuce is used as leafy vegetables in human diet for thousands of years. It is still popular and frequently consumed in many areas, especially in France which is the greatest manufacturer of lamb's lettuce in Europe.
Interesting Lamb's lettuce Facts:
Lamb's lettuce can reach 2 to 8 inches in height and few inches in diameter.
Lamb's lettuce has elongated, spoon-shaped leaves arranged in the form of rosette or loose head. They are dark green colored and up to 6 inches long.
Lamb's lettuce produces small white flowers arranged in terminal, umbrella-shaped clusters. Flowers contain both types of reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
Lamb's lettuce blooms from April to May. It belongs to a group of self-pollinating plants.
Fruit of lamb's lettuce is round, slightly flattened achene. Fruit filled with seed can be seen on the plant from May to July.
Lamb's lettuce propagates via seeds. Leaves are ready for the harvest 30 to 60 days after sowing.
Lamb's lettuce produces leaves of best quality from May to November.
Many types of salad greens produce fresh leaves during the winter, but they often change texture (become chewier and tougher) and taste (accumulate bitter substances) during the cold, harsh winters. Unlike them, texture and taste of lamb's lettuce is the same all year round.
Name "lamb's lettuce" refers to the shape and size of individual leaves which look like tongue of a lamb.
Lamb's lettuce is also known as "corn salad" because it frequently occupies fields of commercially important grains such as wheat. Since staple grains in Europe were collectively known as "corn" in the past, hence the name "corn salad".
Lamb's lettuce has velvety, succulent leaves with slightly waxy texture and mild, slightly nutty taste. Its leaves are excellent source of vitamins C, A, E, B6 and B9 and minerals such as iron and potassium.
Lamb's lettuce can be consumed fresh in the form of salad, usually mixed with rocket salad, dandelion or endive, cooked like spinach, or used as ingredient for soups and stuffing.
Lamb's lettuce is pricey because of its small size and delicate, perishable nature.
Former American president Thomas Jefferson was a big fan of lamb's lettuce. He cultivated this plant in his garden in Virginia at the beginning of the 19th centuries.
Lamb's lettuce completes its life cycle in one year (annual plant).

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