I am the world’s most important salad plant.
Both my English and Latin names are derive from lactuca, the Latin for milk, referring to my milky sap which is a mild narcotic – if you chew enough lettuce before you go to bed, you are likely to sleep well.
My wild ancestor is a tall, nasty-smelling, bitter-tasting, sow-thistle-like herb, native to the Mediterranean.
The Romans thought I had medicinal properties and introduced me to the UK.
In Greek mythology I am sacred to Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love.