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LACTUCA sativa 'Lollo Rossa'

Image of Lactuca sativa 'Lollo Rossa'

Nancy Engel

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

LACTUCA sativa 'Lollo Rossa'

Plant Common Name

Garden Lettuce, Lolla Rossa Lettuce, Looseleaf Lettuce

General Description

Densely curly, glossy, red leaves make this flavorful looseleaf lettuce a longtime garden favorite for home gardeners. The moderately heat tolerant heirloom variety is a great candidate for continual harvest, if planted in succession. The leaves are ready for harvest in 40 to 50 days and heads 60 days after planting. It’s as ornamental as it is delicious, so it’s a favored choice for edible landscaping.

Loosehead or butterhead lettuce is an annual garden green grown for its smooth, thin, buttery leaves and looser heads. When temperatures warm up, the whole leafy clump elongates and grows upwards. At this stage they are no longer good eating. When fully elongated they become topped with tall branched stems covered with pale yellow flowers followed by fluffy white seedheads. Seed savers should collect the mature seeds for another planting.

In temperate zones lettuce is favored as a spring and fall crop and in frost-free, southern zones it is grown as a winter crop. Full sun and light, fertile, nutrient-rich soil and regular water are needed for good production and performance. Plant lettuce seeds in succession for a longer harvest period. Once lettuce is subjected to hot weather and begins to bolt its flavor usually becomes bitter. At this stage, pull them or let them set seed for collection.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vegetable

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    6"-8" / 15.2cm - 20.3cm

  • Width

    8"-10" / 20.3cm - 25.4cm

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Northern Europe, Northern Africa, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Light Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Tan, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes