Biennials, 25-90(-150+) cm. Leaves on proximal 1/3-1/2 of each stem; blades of undivided cauline leaves spatulate to lance-linear, margins entire or denticulate, midribs sometimes setose. Heads in ± paniculiform arrays. Involucres 12-20+ mm. Phyl-laries usually reflexed in fruit. Florets 15-20+; corollas bluish to purplish, usually deliquescent. Cypselae: bodies brown (often mottled), ± flattened, elliptic, 5-6 mm, beaks ± filiform, 2-4 mm, faces 1(-3)-nerved; pappi white, 5-9 mm. 2n = 34.
FNA 2006, Kearney and Peebles 1969, McDougall 1973
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Herbaceous biennials to perennials, to 150 cm tall, glabrous, stems leafy, leaves crowded at the base, plants with milky sap. Leaves: Alternate, linear-attenuate or with a few linear-attenuate or lanceolate lobes, up to 30 cm long, the cauline leaves reduced. Flowers: Heads small, blue to purple, sometimes yellowish, radiate, the rays minutely toothed at the apices, involucres urn-shaped, to 2 cm long, phyllaries somewhat long, overlapping in 2 or more series, usually reflexed in fruit, inflorescences usually with an irregular branching pattern without a well-defined central axis (deliquescent). Fruits: Achenes strongly flattened, to 6 mm long, contracted into a beak with a disk at the apex, the body of the achenes much longer than the beak. Pappus of copious, early deciduous capillary bristles. Ecology: Found on sandy ridges, in pine forests and canyons, from 0-8,000 ft (0-2438 m); flowering May-October. Distribution: South Carolina to Florida, west to Arizona. Notes: Good identifiers for this species are the leaves mostly narrowly linear and entire, with the lower ones broad and pinnatifid along with the achene to 6 mm with a beak about half as long as the body. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Lactuca is Latin for milky sap, while graminifolia means with leaves like grass. Synonyms: Lactuca graminifolia var. mexicana Editor: LCrumbacher 2011