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Green Thumb

Gardening has been a lifelong passion for Wende and she’d like to share her passion with her readers. Follow her as she writes about her gardening adventures, lists tasks to do depending on the season, and gives easy to understand gardening advice.

What Kind of Lettuce is That?

lettuce, plant, vegetable, garden, weed, identify, food, plants

I planted a mixed variety of lettuce in my garden this year and as I watched it grow I wondered exactly what kinds of lettuce it was. One of the plants in the row didn’t look like a type of lettuce, so I wasn’t sure if I should  pull them out because they were weeds or leave them because they were some type that I didn’t recognize.  I decided to find out – after all, I didn’t want to eat it and find out its poisonous or something!  The package said “Mesclun”, which I knew meant “mixed”.  I dug out the seed packet and in fine print it listed quite a few types.  I looked for pictures of them on the internet just to be sure.  This is what I found.

Clip_image001 Mesclun  means "mixed" in Provencal and is traditionally composed of several varieties of wild-harvested, young greens. Most mesclun sold today is cultivated--planted as beds of mixed lettuce seeds harvested when the leaves reach the desired size of 3 to 6 inches). Look for mixes that contain young, sweet leaves from a variety of tender lettuces, maybe a bit of curly endive for texture, some peppery watercress or arugula for bite, and maybe a few herbs. Some farms and markets sell special "spicy" mixtures that have more arugula, watercress, mezzula, and mustard leaves.

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Arugula

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  Butter                       

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 Romaine

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Mizuna 
is an Asian variety of mustard greens. It has spiky dark green leaves that have a surprisingly delicate texture and delightfully peppery, even spicy kick.

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Bib

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 Lollo Rosso

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  Tatsoi

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 Chervil

 There are four main types of lettuce, listed below with different varieties shown: 

Romaine (Cos)

Dark Green Cos

Green Towers

Ideal Cos

Parris Island Cos

Valmaine

Crisphead

Great Lakes

Ithaca

Onondaga

Mesa 659

Raleigh

South Bay

Butterhead

Bibb and Salad Bibb

Buttercrunch

Dark Green Boston

Ermosa

Esmerelda

Nancy

Summer Bibb

Tania

Tom

Thumb

Leaf Lettuce

Black Seeded Simpson

Grand Rapids

Lollo Rosso

New Red Fire

Green Ice

Red Sails

Oak Leaf Lettuce

Prizehead

Ruby

Sierra

Slobolt

Tierra

Salad Bowl

Waldmann’s Green

 So after all that research, I didn’t find a picture of the one plant that I couldn’t identify as a type of lettuce, so it will have to go.  It didn’t look like the regular weeds I would expect to see in a veggie garden, but if it is a lettuce or type of herb that got mixed into my seed, it’s not common enough for me to be satisfied that it’s OK to eat. I hate to pull you out by the roots, but you must go. 

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