Lettuce ( Lactuca sativa )
Biennial (Temperate Annual) Plant
Height : 5cm to 27cm included
Origin : Middle East
Environment : in full sun, wind-sheltered position; on rich soils
Climate : warm; frost-intolerant
A plant native of the Middle East, and very popular with ancient Egyptians, was much appreciated by the Romans, who diffused it all over the empire. As soon as they conquered a land, the Roman soldiers immediately planted fields of Lettuce, in order to guarantee tasty meals for themselves. But Lettuce also had a non flattering reputation of causing male impotence, as attested by several Greek and Latin writers. In fact, Lettuce contains a milky juice that has sedative and blandly hypnotic properties. For this reason, it is usually part of the evening diet for the insomniac persons.