Lactuca indica L.

Last updated: 22 June 2015

Scientific Name

Lactuca indica L.


Brachyramphus sinicus Miq., Chondrilla squarrosa (Thunb.) Poir., Lactuca amurensis Regel & Maxim.. Lactuca amurensis Regel, Lactuca bialata Griff., Lactuca brevirostris Champ., Lactuca brevirostris Champ. ex Benth., Lactuca cavaleriei H.Lév., Lactuca dracoglossa Makino, Lactuca hoatiensis H.Lév. & Vaniot, Lactuca kouyangensis H.Lév., Lactuca laciniata (Houtt.) Makino, Lactuca mauritiana Poir., Lactuca squarrosa (Thunb.) Miq., Lactuca squarrosa (Thunb.) Maxim., Leontodon acutissimus Noronha, Prenanthes laciniata Houtt., Prenanthes squarrosa Thunb., Pterocypsela indica (L.) C.Shih, Pterocypsela indivisa (Makino) H.S.Pak, Pterocypsela laciniata (Houtt.) C.Shih [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Daun panjang [2]
English Indian lettuce [2]
Indonesia Komak, lampenas (Sundanese); sawi rana (Javanese) [2]
Philippines Gilgiloy (Bisaya); batudan (Bontoc); gatu­dan (Kankanai) [2]
Vietnam Di[ees]p d[aj]I, rau b[oof] c[os]c, b[oof] c[oo]ng anh [2]

Geographical Distributions

Lactuca indi­ca is native to the warmer parts of China, Taiwan, and southern Japan, where it occurs wild and cul­tivated. It has been introduced into Southeast Asia, probably by Chinese immigrants, and is rel­atively common in Indonesia and Malaysia, where it sometimes occurs as an escape from cultivation. [2]

Botanical Description

L. indi­ca is a member of the family Compositae. It is a perennial, erect, tillering, laticiferous herb, with radical rosette when young and grows up to 2 m tall when flowering. [2]

The leaves are arranged alternate, sessile, ob­long-Ianceolate, very variable in shape and dimen­sion, with narrowed base and acute apex, measuring 5-35 cm x 1-10 cm and often with a red midrib. [2]

The inflorescence is terminal, paniculiform or corymbiform, measures 50-100 cm long, many-branched and with numerous relatively small (2 cm x 5-7 mm) flower heads. The involucral bracts are partly ovate (outer ones) and partly oblong-lin­ear-Ianceolate (inner ones). The flowers are with ligule, bright yellow, patent or obliquely erect. [2]

The fruit is one-seeded, flat, elliptical, measuring 3-4 mm x 2 mm, black, shortly beaked, hard and at the top with a tuft of white hairs. [2]


L. indi­ca is cultivated from the lowlands up to 2000 m altitude. Sometimes, it grows wild as an escape from cultivation in ravines, waste places, fields and forest borders, roadsides, and plantations of perennial crops. It prefers fertile, well-drained soils with high or­ganic matter content, but tolerates a wide range of soils. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of L. indica [1]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Lactuca indica L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013. [updated 2012 Feb 11; cited 2015 June 22] Available from:
  2. Lactuca indica L. In: Siemonsma JS, Piluek K, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 8. Vegetables. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc Scientific Publishers; 1993.