Saturday, August 30, 2008

Prenanthes altissima, a.k.a. Tall White Lettuce

Today was cool and overcast, so I ventured out back with the clippers to clear out the overgrown ferns that had clogged my pond path in the woods. I was specifically interested in getting back there so that I could photograph the Indian pipe seed pods, but once I was out there I was surprised by a new plant with delicate, pale green blossoms.

I can’t seem to find any information on this plant other than that it is native to the East Coast, perennial, and lives in shady, moist areas. From a distance it is spindly and not particularly striking, but up-close the blossoms are particularly Art-Nouveau. The leaves come in a variety of shapes, oddly. I’ll see if I can collect seeds from it later.


hero爺 said...

You have a nice garden and life.

marna said...

The Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern edition, has the White lettuce listed in the Sunflower Family (Asteraceae), also called Rattlesnake Root, which suggests that the plant was used as a remedy for snakebite!
They have more information listed if you are interested.

Michelle said...

Thank you Hero! And thank you Marna! I'll have to check that out!

Walt said...


I see your blog, I see the fruits of your labors, and all I can think to say is:

"You make me want to be a better gardener"