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  1. Family: Asteraceae Bercht. & J.Presl
    1. Genus: Lactuca L.
      1. Lactuca paradoxa Sch.Bip. ex A.Rich.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Ethiopia to Malawi.


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

    Scandent herb 1.8–2.1 m high; stems flexuous, divaricately branching, the older ones sometimes with papery bark, glabrous or very sparsely pilose; latex white, copious.
    Leaves pinnatifid to pinnate, 4–10 cm long, 2–5.5 cm wide; petiole to 4 cm long, narrowly winged, blade with 1–2 pairs of lateral lobes, these cuneate or these and the terminal lobe ovate with a cordate base, dentate margins and acuminate apex, the very base of the whole leaf auriculate-semi-amplexicaul, the lateral lobes stalked briefly, glabrous or sparsely setose on the veins; leaves near and in inflorescence entire, unlobed, and small.
    Capitula many in divaricately branched terminal panicles to 40 cm long; involucre 8–12 mm long; phyllaries reddish or deep purple, ovate to elliptic, 2–13 mm long, obtuse, glabrous except for the very apex which has a small tuft of hairs.
    Florets 4–5; corolla pale yellow, tube cylindric, 6–7 mm long, pilose distally, ligules 4.5–5 mm long.
    Achenes pale brown, ellipsoid, hardly flattened, 5–5.5 mm long including the 0.5–1 mm long beak, seemingly glabrous but microscopically puberulous; pappus white, 6–8.5 mm long.
    Fig. 20/10 (achene).
    Thickets, forest margins or riverine vegetation; 1950–2650 m
    K4 K6 T2 U3

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

    A scandent diffuse short-lived perennial herb up to 2 m. high.
    Stems up to c. 5 m. long, slender terete, ± leafless and stramineous below, leafy and much entangled above, glabrous or rarely sparsely setulose.
    Leaves imparipinnately compound, up to c. 14.5 x 8 cm., narrowly ovate in outline, with 3–5 pinnae on a narrowly-winged midrib, the midrib narrowly-winged petiole-like and auriculate below, denticulate or entire, glabrous or sparsely setose beneath; the terminal pinna ± sessile on the winged midrib, 2–5.5 x 1.3–3 cm., narrowly ovate, acute-acuminate above, cordate below; lateral pinnae subopposite, petiolules 1–10 mm. long and not or hardly winged, 2–4.5 x 0.8–2.6 cm., oblong-ovate, ± acute mucronate above and cuneate to cordate or asymmetric at the base.
    Synflorescences paniculate, axillary and terminal, mostly amongst the foliage; branches diffusely dichotomously subdivided, bracteate; bracts leaf-like ± oblanceolate denticulate auriculate.
    Capitula numerous; stalks up to c. 2.5(4.5) cm. long with 1-several c. 2 mm. long ovate-lanceolate bracteoles.
    Involucres c. 9 x 2 mm. and cylindric at time of flowering, increasing to c. 12 x 2.5 mm. and becoming conical in fruiting capitula; phyllaries c. 2–5 mm. long and broadly ovate on the outside, c. 12 mm. long and narrowly lanceolate on the inside, obtuse and ciliate above, glabrous.
    Florets c. 5 per capitulum; corollas up to c. 14 mm. long, tube slender cylindric and pilose above, ligule yellow 6–8 x 1.5–2 mm., lorate.
    Achenes pale-brown, up to c. 6 x 1.5 mm. including a c. 1.5 mm. long beak, narrowly ellipsoid, somewhat compressed with swollen ribs on the margins and 4–5 narrower wing-like ribs on each face, hispidulous; pappus several-seriate, of white barbellate setae c. 7 mm. long.



    Native to:

    Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaïre


    Other Data

    Lactuca paradoxa Sch.Bip. ex A.Rich. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Ash [1525], Ethiopia 35780.000
    Ash [685], Ethiopia 37990.000
    Schimper [1320], Ethiopia K000251875
    Schimper [1320], Ethiopia K000251876
    Schimper [1320], Ethiopia K000251877


    First published in Tent. Fl. Abyss. 1: 460 (1848)

    Accepted by

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


    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Agnew, A.D.Q. & Agnew, S., Upland Kenya Wild Flowers, ed. 2: 230 (1994).
    • G.V. Pope in Flora Zambesiaca 6: 208, t. 37g (1992).
    • Lawalrée, Dethier & Gilissen in Flore d'Afrique Centrale Compositae: Cichorioideae: 43, t. 7 (1986).
    • Dethier in Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 52: 370 (1982).
    • C. Jeffrey in Kew Bulletin 18: 456 (1966).
    • Stebbins in Bulletin du Jardin Botanique de l'État a Bruxelles 14: 344 (1937).
    • Oliv. & Hiern in Flora of Tropical Africa 3: 454 (1877).
    • A. Rich., Tent. Fl. Abyss. 1: 461 (1848).


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

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    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.