COMMON CORNSALAD

LAMB'S LETTUCE

Valerianella locusta

Valerian Family [Valerianaceae]

month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8azure flower8blue flower8white
inner
inner8white
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZumbel
stem
stem8square
stem
stem8ribbed

20th April 2012, Angerton Point prom, Foxfield, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Indistinguishable from Keeled-Fruited Cornsalad apart from the exact shape of the fruit which are as wide as they are thick and much longer than they are wide, and with a deep V-groove on the abaxial face - in other words: canoe shaped). They differ from those of Common Cornsalad which are about twice as thick as wide, but hardly longer than they are thick and only shallowly grooved on the abaxial face (sorry, no photos of Common Cornsalad fruits as yet).


20th April 2012, Angerton Point prom, Foxfield, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
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20th April 2012, Angerton Point prom, Foxfield, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
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20th April 2012, Angerton Point prom, Foxfield, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
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20th April 2012, Angerton Point prom, Foxfield, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
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20th April 2012, Angerton Point prom, Foxfield, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
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20th April 2012, Angerton Point prom, Foxfield, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Stems seem to interpenetrate the leaves.


20th April 2012, Angerton Point prom, Foxfield, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD


31st May 2016, nr Gait Barrows, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The plant lain bare. It is multiply-branched.


31st May 2016, nr Gait Barrows, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The flowers in bunches at the ends are turning to fruits, but are not quite there yet. The first flowers to start turning to fruit are those single flowers in the axils of the branches. Stems square and ribbed.


31st May 2016, nr Gait Barrows, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Here right in the axil is a single developing fruit, flanked beneath by two opposite leaves, still not ripe. Some flowers persist in each bunch.


31st May 2016, nr Gait Barrows, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The fruit in the centre like a head with two arms held upwards. Common Cornsalad has fruits shaped just like this, sort of nearly round(ish) with two or three shallow circumferential ridges/grooves. Clive Clive Stace says in his book that the fruit of Common Cornsalad is glabrous (without hairs) but this plainly has a short stubble of hairs. But it isn't ripe yet, so maybe they all fall off(?). The stems are square - some are heavily ribbed and look more like H-cross section steel girders, presumably for stiffening.


31st May 2016, nr Gait Barrows, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Another fruit from the same plant. This time against the sun to get an x-ray view within (move down the bus, nothing to see here).


Not to be confused with : Lettuce or Lamb's-Ear [plants with similar names]

Easily mistaken for : Flower

Easily mis-identified as : other Cornsalads such as Keeled-Fruited Cornsalad but that has a V-shaped notch in the somewhat longer fruit which makes it look more like a canoe than the somewhat mis-shapen ball of Common Cornsalad.

No relation to : Corn Buttercup, Corn Marigold, Corn Chamomile, Corncockle, Corn Mint or Salad Burnet [plants with similar names].

This is much the more frequent of the five different species of Cornsalad. It is edible and was/(is still?) used as a salad which is why it was once called Lamb's Lettuce. It occupies bare and grassy ground, walls, rock faces and sand dunes. It seems to flower in April to June, with April being before other very similar Cornsalads.


  Valerianella locusta  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Valerianaceae  

Distribution
 family8Valerian family8Valerianaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Valerianella
Valerianella
(Cornsalads)

COMMON CORNSALAD

LAMB'S LETTUCE

Valerianella locusta

Valerian Family [Valerianaceae]