Here’s something different for the edible-ornamental garden! From an edible perspective, celtuce (Lactuca sativa var. asparagina)—also known as stem lettuce, Chinese lettuce, asparagus lettuce, or wosun—is grown more for its thick stems than its leaves. (You can lightly harvest the leaves as well, but it’s better to leave them if you want the best stalks.) There are lots of recipes for using celtuce stems online if you are interested in learning more about that. The plant itself looks rather like a miniature palm tree, with a tuft of leaves atop a stout stem. The ‘Red Mountain’ strain adds an extra ornamental feature: a reddish blush on the bright green leaves. In hot weather, the plants will begin to flower and be quite bitter; it’s too late to eat them then, but you can leave them in place if you want to save the seeds. Original seed source was Baker Creek in 2021; no one seems to be carrying it now. As much as I like it, I may not grow it again in 2023 unless it sells more than a few packets before next spring. Full sun to light shade. Annual.
Collected in late July 2022. At least 20 seeds.
Please read the germination information as well before ordering.