Our sticky extract has gotten allot of attention in the last year. Customers are reporting that it works well for mild pain relief and to sooth the nerves. But where does it come from? Wild lettuce extract comes from the sap of the more bitter cousins of salad lettuce. We uploaded this picture of the sap dripping out of a wild lettuce plant a couple years ago, and since then it's been copied hundreds of times, of course without our permission.
The true story of this photo is that I, Christian Lactucaman, took this photo in the Appalachian mountains. In July of 2015 I went up to Stony Man Mountain in Luray, Virginia, with my family. I had read that the north American variety of Lactuca virosa could be found in the Appalachians and we wanted to see if it was true. July is the best time to look for wild lettuce's where it is summer time, because they are about full size and in bloom.
And so we set out with the kids to get some exercise and to see if we could find it. Lactuca virosa is not only green but more like emerald green, with hints of blue and purple especially on the stem. In the lower elevations I could only spot L. Serriola growing on edges of fields and highways mostly. It wasn't until we started gaining some elevation that I'd see the occasional seven foot spike growing out of the bushes here and there.
When we got to the lookout, we parked and began our adventure. It didn't take long, because right at the edge of the parking lot were several very large Appalachian variety virosa plants growing out of the rocky hillside. The Appalachian variety looks quite similar to the European variety except that the Appalachian variety in general is much smoother and has less spikes. The leaves also come to more of a point, where the European variety has more rounded foliage.
I have since also found this variety of L. virosa growing in the Appalachian mountains farther south in North Carolina. I'll be uploading a few more pics from that day in another post. Be sure to check out our Sticky Extract of Wild Lettuce here!