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  1. Family: Asteraceae Bercht. & J.Presl
    1. Genus: Lactuca L.
      1. Lactuca setosa Stebbins ex C.Jeffrey

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Tanzania to S. Tropical Africa.


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

    An erect perennial herb up to 95(120) cm. tall, from a stout fusiform taproot.
    Stems solitary, simple below branching above, leafy with leaves ± crowded below, often purplish towards the base, sparsely to densely glandular-setose, or glabrescent; setae 0.5–2 mm. long, patent, gland-tipped.
    Lower leaves crowded or sub-rosulate, 3.5–16 x 2–6.5 cm., ± broadly elliptic or oblanceolate, acute to obtuse mucronate at the apex, cuneate below with a tapering-winged petiole-like midrib, irregularly denticulate, ciliate between the teeth, glabrous, or densely setose on the midrib, occasionally sparsely puberulent beneath, lateral nerves ± prominent beneath; upper leaves more spaced, decreasing in size towards the stem apex, becoming oblong-lanceolate sessile and semi-amplexicaul.
    Synflorescences corymbose-paniculate with spreading-ascending branches up to c. 25 cm. long, or contracted and ± globose; bracts subtending the lower branches foliaceous up to 3 cm. long and narrowly lanceolate.
    Capitula shortly stalked or subsessile, often ± aggregated.
    Involucres 5–8 x 1.5–2 mm. at time of flowering, cylindric, increasing to c. 12 x 2.5 mm. in fruiting capitula.
    Phyllaries 3–4-seriate somewhat rugulose outside and ciliolate above, glabrous or rarely glandular-setulose on the midrib; the outermost c. 3 mm. long, ovate; the innermost up to c. 12 mm. long and lanceolate-lorate, obtuse, margins entire and narrowly hyaline.
    Florets c. 5 per capitulum.
    Corollas yellow, 8–11.5 mm. long; tube narrowly cylindric; ligule 4–7 mm. long, lorate, lobes c. 1 mm. long apically papillose.
    Achenes not or hardly beaked, reddish-brown, 4.5–5.8 mm. long, narrowly ellipsoid, or obovoid and ± truncate above, somewhat laterally compressed, broadly ribbed on the margins with 2–5 narrower ribs between, hispidulous on ribs; pappus several-seriate, of numerous white barbellate setae c. 5.5 mm. long.

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

    Perennial herb, scapose; stem(s) annual, 1–3, erect, 0.7–1.5 m high, bearing both leaves and capitula, sparsely to densely glandular-setose; roots tuberous, like a carrot.
    Leaves 4–9, of which 1–3 radical, sessile, elliptic or lanceolate, 3.5–16 cm long, 0.7–6.5 cm wide, base attenuate in radical leaves to subamplexicaul in cauline leaves, margins sinuate-dentate, apex acute or obtuse and mucronate, glabrous or beneath sparsely setose on the veins.
    Capitula many, in lax panicles; stalks of individual capitula absent or up to 2 cm long; involucre cylindric, 7–12 mm long; phyllaries 3-seriate, lanceolate, 2.5–12 mm long, glabrous or nearly so, the very apex minutely puberulous.
    Florets ± 5 per capitulum; corolla yellow, tube cylindric, 4–4.5 mm long, ligule 7–9 mm long, 2–2.5 mm wide.
    Achenes fusiform, 4.5–6 mm long, 3-ribbed on each side, minutely pilose, hardly beaked; pappus white, 4–6.5 mm long.
    Fig. 20/3 (achene).
    Marshy grassland; 1400–1800 m
    T4 T7



    Native to:

    Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Other Data

    Lactuca setosa Stebbins ex C.Jeffrey appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Fanshawe, D.B. [1747], Zambia K000251888 holotype


    First published in Kew Bull. 18(3): 444 (1966)

    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: 200 (1992).
    • Lawalrée, Dethier & Gilissen in Flore d'Afrique Centrale Compositae: Cichorioideae: 55, t. 11 (1986).
    • Dethier in Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 52: 375 (1982).
    • C. Jeffrey in Kew Bulletin 18: 444, fig. 5 (1966).


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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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.