Wirelettuce

Genus Stephanomeria
Composite Family (Asteraceae/Compositae)



Wirelettuce plant
            growing on a dry rocky hillside

Annual Wirelettuce
(Stephanomeria exigua)

These plants grow about 1 or 2 feet tall, depending on the moisture that has been available. They have wiry stems and narrow leaves. The leaves are edible, but very bitter. The plant exudes a milky sap when cut.


Close-up of wirelettuce
	    blossom heads



The flower heads are about a half inch across. They have ray flowers only (5 or 6 of them) -- but no disk flowers. They are pale pink or lavender in color. Each ray flower has a toothed tip, with 5 teeth.



A plant which has very similar (but much larger) blossom heads is the Rushpink (Lygodesmia grandiflora).