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  1. Family: Asteraceae Bercht. & J.Presl
    1. Genus: Lactuca L.
      1. Lactuca longespicata De Wild.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Tanzania to Zambia.


    Compositae, H. Beentje, C. Jeffrey & D.J.N. Hind. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2005

    Perennial herb 0.3–1.3 m high; stem solitary, erect, unbranched, glandular-setose but glabrescent, the setae to 3 mm long; taproot woody.
    Leaves cauline, elliptic (proximal leaves) to linear (distal leaves), 3–26 cm long, 0.2–5 cm wide, base attenuate into a winged petiole in proximal leaves, sessile and semi-amplexicaul in distal leaves, margins sinuate-dentate and irregularly denticulate, apex obtuse and mucronate.
    Capitula in clusters of 2–6, these in turn arranged in lax leafy spiciform racemes up to 50 cm long, rarely in branched racemes; involucre 8–10 mm long, lengthening to 14 mm in fruit; phyllaries often purplish, lanceolate, 4–13 mm long, distally ciliolate.
    Florets ± 5 per capitulum; corolla yellow, tube cylindric, 4.5–6 mm long, ligule 4.5–6.5 mm long, papillose distally.
    Achenes dark brown to black, ellipsoid, flattened, 5–6 mm long including 0.5–1 mm long beak, 1-ribbed on each side; pappus white, 5–6 mm long.
    Fig. 20/5 (achene).
    Grassland in miombo or on stream banks; 1700–2500 m
    T6 T7

    Compositae, G. V. Pope. Flora Zambesiaca 6:1. 1992

    An erect perennial herb to c. 1.3 m. tall, from a woody taproot.
    Stems solitary simple striate, ± densely glandular-pilose below, sparsely glandular-setose above, glabrescent; hairs up to c. 3 mm. long.
    Leaves cauline; the lowermost up to c. 25 x 6 cm., oblanceolate to elliptic, undivided, obtuse mucronate, shallowly sinuate-dentate and irregularly denticulate, attenuate with midrib narrowly winged petiole-like at the base, sparsely pilose-setose particularly on the midrib beneath; upper leaves decreasing in size towards the stem apex, becoming narrowly-elliptic to lanceolate, sessile and semi-amplexicaul.
    Synflorescence racemose to sparingly-branched divaricate-paniculate, up to c. 50 cm. long, branches much reduced (sometimes to c. 20 cm. long), sparsely glandular-setose, glabrescent, bracteate.
    Capitula subsessile to shortly stalked, 2–6 aggregated in remote dense clusters; involucres 8–10 x 2 mm. at time of flowering, to c. 14 x 4 mm. in fruiting capitula, cylindric to campanulate, often purple-tinged.
    Phyllaries 2–3-seriate, ciliolate above otherwise glabrous; the outermost phyllaries usually less than half the length of the inner, narrowly ovate; inner phyllaries 10–13 x 1.5–3 mm., narrowly lanceolate.
    Florets c. 5 per capitulum.
    Corollas 10–11 mm. long, yellow; tube c. 4.5 mm. long, very narrowly cylindric, glabrous; ligule erect c. 6 mm. long, oblanceolate, lobes apically papillose.
    Achenes dark-brown to black, 5–6 mm. long (including 0.5–1 mm. long beak), broadly flattened-ellipsoid, margins swollen, narrowly 1-ribbed on each face, ± sparsely hispidulous; pappus many-seriate of white barbellate setae c. 5–6 mm. long, outermost setae much smaller.


    Native to:

    Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre

    Other Data

    Lactuca longespicata De Wild. appears in other Kew resources:


    First published in Ann. Mus. Congo Belge, Bot., sér. 5, 1(2): 87 (1904)

    Accepted by

    • Roskov Y. & al. (eds.) (2018). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands.


    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • G.V. Pope in Flora Zambesiaca 6: 201, t. 36g (1992).
    • Lawalrée, Dethier & Gilissen in Flore d'Afrique Centrale Compositae: Cichorioideae: 60, t. 12 (1986), all as longespicata.
    • Dethier in Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 52: 382 (1982).
    • C. Jeffrey in Kew Bulletin 18: 448 (1966).
    • De Wild. in Ann. Mus. Congo, Bot., sér. 5, 1: 87, t. 16 (1904), as longespicata.


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.