Leafy green-Lettuce-I

Lettuce is one of the easiest vegetable plants to grow. Seeds turn to full-grown leafy green lettuce ready to harvest and serve on the dining table within 35 to 45 days from planting. It is a popular plant among farming and gardening enthusiasts alike and is suitable for beginners to enjoy growing.

Lettuce is a fairly hardy vegetable that thrives in cool weather and areas where the average daily temperature is 60oF – 70oF (15oC – 210oC). Except for some varieties that can withstand a warmer climate, its growth is stunted and its leaves develop bitter taste when grown in hot environments.

Records show that the ancient Egyptians first cultivated lettuce for the production of oil from its seeds. The plant was probably selectively bred into a plant grown for its edible leaves. Evidence of its cultivation appeared as early as 2680 BC.

Types of Lettuce Leafy Green

While there are more than 87 varieties of lettuce in the United States, these are the 5 major and most common types: Butterhead, Leaf, Crisphead, Romaine, and Stem.

Butterhead Lettuce

The Butterhead Lettuce is mainly characterized by a loose head and grass-green leaves with a soft texture. It has a sweet, mild flavor. Two common varieties are Boston Lettuce and Bibb Lettuce.

Leaf or Loose Leaf Lettuce

The Loose Leaf Lettuce does not form a head and consists of large loosely packed leaves joined at the stem. Its leaves are green or shaded deep red at edges, ruffled or smooth. It has crispness between Butterhead and Crisphead. It is the most widely planted type of lettuce. Green Leaf varieties include Oak Leaf and Black Seeded Simpson while Red Leaf varieties include Red Sails, Cimmaron, Green Towers, Paris Island, and Ruby Leaf.

Crisphead Lettuce

Another type of lettuce is the Crisphead Lettuce, often characterized by a tight cabbage-like head with pale green color. It has a crisp texture and mild flavor. It is adapted to cooler conditions and requires the most care. Its superior shipping quality and high availability make it the most popular lettuce in the US. Some of the common varieties are Iceberg, Great Lakes, and Ithaca.

Romaine Lettuce

Also called Cos, the Romaine Lettuce forms an upright elongated head and has deep green leaves with a crisp texture and without a bitter taste, making it an excellent salads and sandwiches ingredient.

Stem Lettuce

Also called Chinese Lettuce where it is widely grown, the Stem Lettuce is known for its edible stem. The enlarged seed stalk that it forms is used mainly in stewed, creamed, and Chinese dishes. It has a mild flavor similar to a cucumber. The only variety available in the US is called Celtuce.
“Types of Lettuce”, Berkeley Wellness
Katz, Solomon H.; Weaver, Williams Woys (2003). Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. Volume 2. Scribner. ISBN 978-0-684-80565-8. Pp375 -376
Taken from “Lettuce”, Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lettuce
Weaver, Williams Woys (1997). Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: A Master Gardener's Guide to Planting, Seed Saving and Cultural History. Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 978-0-8050-4025-8., pp170-172
Taken from “Lettuce”, Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lettuce
“Lettuce”, University of Illinois Extension
“Celtuce”, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia