‘G. Kipouros’

Lettuce / Laitue / Μαρούλι


Common Name: Lettuce / Laitue / Μαρούλι

Scientific Name: Lactuca sativa


Plant’s cycle: Annual/Biannual

Light Requirement: semi-shade and full sun

Soil type: well drained, light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. pH 6.5 – 7.5

Sowing in nursery: March to June,

Direct Planting: March to June, and August/September

Germination: 6 days after sowing

Harvest:  60 to 80 days after sowing

Spacing: 25cm/25cm/1cm deep  


Flowers are hermaphrodite

Pollination: insects and self.

Plant is self-fertile

Seed preservation: 5 years


Edible Parts: Leaves, Oil from seeds, Seed sprouts.

Medicine: Anaphrodisiac;  Anodyne;  Antispasmodic;  Carminative;  Diuretic;  Emollient;  Expectorant;  Febrifuge;  Galactogogue;  Hypnotic;  Hypoglycaemic; Narcotic;  Parasiticide;  Parasiticide;  Sedative.


The sap contains 'lactucarium', which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts. The seed is anodyne and galactogogue.

Known Hazards: The mature plant is mildly toxic. When mature, it should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis.