Saturday, August 22, 2015

Lettuce pray for rain.

Despite the lack of rain - for the past three winters - there are plenty of weeds still growing between the rows of vines in Vinoland; mallow, fluvellin, stinking goosefoot, plantain, bristly oxtongue etc.  I wouldn't say they are exactly flourishing, their flowers seem smaller than normal, but they are persisting reasonably well. There are even some California poppies still blooming, but, just like the weeds alongside them, their flowers are also rather diminutive. One weed that seems to be doing even better than all the others is prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola).  But even the flowers of the prickly lettuce seem to be reduced in size this year.
Prickly lettuce, a native of Europe, can grow up to about 6 feet tall, (though I doubt they will in 2015) and they are indeed prickly as they have a row of spiky hairs on the underside of their leaves.  And they can be eaten in a salad (thanks, I'll pass).  But it is the cheery, pale-yellow, chicory-like flower that is the most pleasant feature of  Lactuca serriola.  So delicate looking, but so hardy.  Let's hope for some rain this winter.


Dennis Tsiorbas said...

VG: You are so right about the appearance being chicory-like; paint this one sky blue and voilà!

Vinogirl said...

NHW: Love chicory blue :)