For the home gardener Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is another one of those harbingers of spring. It is as a leaf vegetable belonging to the Asteraceae (or Compositae) family, which is known as the aster, daisy, or sunflower family. The name of the genus is derived from lac, the Latin word for “milk”which refers to the plant’s milky juice.
Lettuce originated in the Mediterranean basin and has been served in dishes for more than 4500 years. The earliest depiction of lettuce is in the carvings at the temple of Senusret I (1926 BC) at Karnak in Egypt being served to the God Min, who considered it sacred. It also appears in writings such as The Contendings of Horus and Set. Continue reading