Plants of woods and shaded roadsides, often
in disturbed ground, minimally-managed landscapes around
buildings. Flowers June to September. Not native..
Annual. Taprooted. Stems are
usually solitary, glabrous
and often glaucous;
soft. The sap is milky
white. Typical height is 2 to 3+ feet.
is many-branched, as tall or taller than wide, mostly leafless or with
along the stem. Flower
heads are many, but relatively few are in flower at a given time.
Flower heads are ligulate,
each head with only 5 florets.
Florets are bisexual and fertile. Corollas are
yellow; 5-toothed. The involucre
is narrowly cylindrical.
bracts are glabrous, in two series, the outer series much shorter
than the inner series.
may be present at flowering. Primary stem leaves are alternate,
located mostly below the inflorescence, obovate
dark brown to black, compressed,
with several ribs
on each face and a short, thin beak.
Pappus is of
Plants are often in flower and fruit simultaneously.
species: Lapsana communis and Lactuca
serriola. Mycelis muralis resembles some
of the Lactuca species, and was formerly considered to be a
member of that genus.