Skip to main content
  1. Family: Asteraceae Bercht. & J.Presl
    1. Genus: Lactuca L.
      1. Lactuca praecox R.E.Fr.

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


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

    An erect subscapose perennial herb 7–55 cm. tall, from a narrowly turbinate rootstock.
    Flowering stalks 1 -several ± diffusely branched, or much contracted and subpulviniform, glabrous or ± sparsely glandular-setose, bracteate; bracts foliaceous, sessile, up to c. 4 x 0.6 cm., very narrowly triangular, glabrous; branches mostly simple, up to c. 30 cm. long, divaricate-ascending, or much reduced, glabrous.
    Leaves poorly known, appearing after flowering, radical, dark-brown lanate in the axils, up to c. 10 cm. long, linear-oblong and sessile, or elliptic to narrowly ovate and broadly cuneate to attenuate at the base, margins ciliate-denticulate with teeth up to c. 1.5 mm. long; petiole-like midribs up to 4 cm. long, persisting as polished golden-brown scales.
    Capitula precocious, numerous, sessile or stalked, solitary or in clusters of 2–4; stalks up to c. 5 cm. long, glabrous.
    Involucre 7–10 x 2.5 mm. at time of flowering, increasing to c. 17 x 3.5 mm. in fruiting capitula, cylindric to narrowly conical, later narrowly campanulate.
    Phyllaries glabrous, guttulate, green sometimes purple-tinged, ciliolate above, the outer from c. 3 mm. long and narrowly ovate, the inner to c. 16 mm. long and lanceolate.
    Florets c. 5 per capitulum; corollas yellow, 12–16 mm. long, tube narrowly cylindric, ± densely pilose near the throat; ligules 10–14 x 3–4.5 mm., oblanceolate, ± pilose below, lobes papillose above.
    Achenes dark-brown to black, 8–9 mm. including a 2.5–3.5 mm. long paler beak, 1.5–1.75 mm. wide, narrowly ellipsoid, swollen-ribbed on the margins with 1 or sometimes 2–3 smaller ribs between, minutely antrorsely hispidulous; pappus several-seriate, copious, of fine white barbellate setae, c. 5 mm. long.

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

    Perennial herb, subscapose; root with creamy latex, root-crown with old leaf-bases, sometimes long-woolly; flowering stem(s) 1–several, erect, brown or purplish, 6–55 cm high, laxly branched or strongly contracted, glabrous or sparsely setose; proximal bracts sessile, narrowly triangular, to 4 cm long and 6 mm wide.
    Leaves appearing after flowering, poorly known, in a rosette, lanceolate or ovate, 3–9 cm long, 1–4 cm wide, base cuneate, margins dentate and ciliate, apex acute, the purple midrib sparsely glandular-setose beneath.
    Capitula precocious, many, in lax or contracted panicles 6–30 cm long; involucre cylindric or narrowly conical, 7–15 mm long; phyllaries brown or reddish green, ovate to lanceolate, 3–16 mm long, obtuse, glabrous except for a little hair-tuft at the very apex.
    Florets 5–9 per capitulum; corolla yellow, tube cylindric, 2–3.5 mm long, pilose near the throat, ligules 10–14 mm long, 2.5–4.5 mm wide, distally papillose.
    Achenes red-brown to dark brown, flattened ellipsoid, 6.5–9 mm long including a 1.5–3.5 mm long paler beak, 3-ribbed on each side, minutely puberulous; pappus white, 4–9 mm long.
    Fig. 20/6 (achene).
    Montane grassland and Brachystegia woodland, flowering after fires; 1500–2250 m
    T4 T7 T8


    Native to:

    Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre

    Other Data

    Lactuca praecox R.E.Fr. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Mwangoka, M.A. [4099], Tanzania K000614923


    First published in Wiss. Erg. Schwed. Rhodesia-Kongo-Exp. 1911-1912 1: 352 (1916)

    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: 202, t. 36j (1992).
    • Lawalrée, Dethier & Gilissen in Flore d'Afrique Centrale Compositae: Cichorioideae: 49 (1986).
    • Dethier in Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 52: 376 (1982).
    • C. Jeffrey in Kew Bulletin 18: 449 (1966).
    • R.E. Fr. in Wiss. Ergebn. Schwed. Rhod.–Kongo Exped. 1: 352 (1916).


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.

    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.