BLUE LETTUCE, Lactuca pulchella (Pursh) DC. 1, lower portion of stem showing long leaves with notched margins; 2, upper stem showing smooth leaf margins and flowering habit; 3, seed with bristles; 4, new shoots as they emerge from soil; 5, root system. Perennial, reproducing by seeds and creeping roots. Stems 1 to 4 feet (0.3 to 1.2 m) tall, branching at top, smooth and leafy. Leaves bluish-green, with smooth surface. Those on lower stem 2 to 8 inches (5 to 20 cm) long with notched margins; those on upper stem shorter with smooth margins. Flower heads about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, composed of pale blue or violet ray flowers. Seed oblong, flat, gray or reddish-brown, with 3 ridges on face, and tapering to a beak with soft white bristles. Entire plant contains a bitter, milky white juice. Found in pastures, grain fields, and waste areas. Difficult to eradicate from cultivated areas.