Nature preserve “Randu pļavas”
Blue lettuce (Lactuca tatarica) is a steppe species from Eurasia which arrived in Latvia via transported grains and wood. The expansive nature of the plant threatens the existence of native plans and animal species in their habitats, changing the structure of coastal habitats over time. The most sensitive species cannot compete and may even disappear. With the decline in biodiversity, the resilience of ecosystems diminishes and thus the area will be more heavily impacted by various factors such as climate change and anthropogenic pressures.
A perennial, medium-sized (30-80 cm) herbaceous plant of the daisy family. Has a deep taproot from which shoots grow. The stem is straight, stiff, covered densely with leaves and rich in a milky fluid, blooms in a flower head. The whole plant has a bluish-green hue, the stem is usually bare.
The leaves are 4-12 cm in length and 1-3 cm wide, thick, deeply toothed leaves to almost whole leaves (the ones higher up on the stem); there are also lancet leaves.
The head of the flower is 2-3.5 cm wide forming at the end of the stem in the form of a shield. The stem of the flower head is short, each ray flower bluish-purple 1-2 cm long. Blooms from the end of July to September.
The pistil of the seed pod is half the size of the length of the seed pod itself. The hairs of the stamen are white, usually appearing longer than the seed pod.
Manner of introduction
Introduced via import and transport of grains and wood.
Characteristics of growing conditions
Grows in dry and sandy habitats, along the sea, along railways and roads, in antroprogenically impacted habitats.
Familiarize yourself with invasive species and submit your observataions to: “Invazīvo sugu pārvaldnieks”.
Source: “Invazīvo sugu pārvaldnieks”, Nature Conservation Agency