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harvesting lactuca virosa?


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#1 Zen Peddler BlueGreenie

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 06:41 PM

I let my ten lactucas go to seed and now im ready to pull them. I think letting them go to seed was a mistake as their leaves are much smaller now. So should I pluck the leaves, dry them and mince this up and then try and extract all the sap out of the stem?

thanks

#2 Psylo

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 07:07 PM

My recollections on studying the properties of this genus suggested that it's best to harvest when the plant is 'flowering' in order to obtain the most active Lactucarium.

I also recall reading that the L.virosa (and also L.serriola) only 'flowers' in it's second year, then dies.

Happy to be corrected if others know more about this one.

As for extracting, the best way to obtain the unadulterated target medicine is to slash the trunk or the central venation of the leaves (sorry, I'm having a mind-blank on the correct term) to obtain the milky sap. It's a messy, unglamourous job, I would say :)
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#3 planthelper

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:38 AM

My recollections on studying the properties of this genus suggested that it's best to harvest when the plant is 'flowering' in order to obtain the most active Lactucarium.

I also recall reading that the L.virosa (and also L.serriola) only 'flowers' in it's second year, then dies.

Happy to be corrected if others know more about this one.

As for extracting, the best way to obtain the unadulterated target medicine is to slash the trunk or the central venation of the leaves (sorry, I'm having a mind-blank on the correct term) to obtain the milky sap. It's a messy, unglamourous job, I would say :)


at my location they flower after a few months and than die.
it is a messy and labour intensive job, to milk them, i agree.

i don't know what you mean with slashing the trunk, because i think trunk means low....

anyway, slash as high up the plant as possible, so you can bleed them again, a bit later, a bit lower.
but they re grow fast aswell, so butchering a plant is no problem.
cutting the leaf stalk (petiolus) is as said above, aswell very rewarding.

i collect the sap, with a pieces of thick alluminium foil (lids), on to collect, another to scrape.
the alluminium foil can than later be used to chase.
i would burn the shit out of the foil before using it for anything "chaser wise".

Edited by planthelper, 08 March 2012 - 10:39 AM.

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#4 Zen Peddler BlueGreenie

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 03:28 PM

cool - muchos gracias. And yeah mine were all seedlings this year that have gone to flower and seem to be starting to die?

#5 Psylo

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 03:34 PM

cool - muchos gracias. And yeah mine were all seedlings this year that have gone to flower and seem to be starting to die?


Hmm, I could have sworn that they are a biennial plant. Perhaps I'm mistaken.
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#6 planthelper

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 03:54 PM

Hmm, I could have sworn that they are a biennial plant. Perhaps I'm mistaken.


i think that happend because, they might look old and halve dead after a drought, and than jump back to life.
at some stages of the season, one can observe young and old plants at the same time.

i thought wild dagga is biennial, and according to the books it's not, but ive seen it re greening after a drought and re flowering.
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#7 mud

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 08:35 PM

Are you really talking virosa,
or do u mean serriola?
Yeh u wanna pull em just before the go to flower.
Or the whole plant drys out a bunch, with less latex etc.

Blended or juiced whole plant matter,
boiled down, results in a trip-tastic glassy goo
that is sweetly vaped
or can be further extracted with alcohol.

The young buds and flowering tips, very young, also
made a good latex smoke when harvested at the right time.

Someone should go further with seed oil experiments.
Have never been bothered collecting enough latex to bioassay.

Edited by mud, 08 March 2012 - 08:37 PM.


#8 Psylo

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 09:20 AM

i think that happend because, they might look old and halve dead after a drought, and than jump back to life.
at some stages of the season, one can observe young and old plants at the same time.

i thought wild dagga is biennial, and according to the books it's not, but ive seen it re greening after a drought and re flowering.


Actually, this statement is wrong, according to several sources. For the purposes of clarity, and to ensure the correct information is stated for other members, Lactuca virosa IS a biennial plant:

Herbalistics
Seeds can be either direct sown or first raised in pots. Lightly cover the seeds with soil or sand and keep moist until germination. Once the seedlings are big enough, they can be transplanted to the garden. Frost resistant. Likes a shaded well-watered position. Flowers and dies in its second year.

Wikipedia
It is bienniel, similar to Prickly lettuce Lactuca serriola but taller - it can grow to 200 cm. It is also stouter, the stem and leaves are more purple flushed,the leaves are less divided, but more spreading.

Shaman Australis
Lactuca virosa is a bienniel plant, it grows to a height of 2.5m with a spread of 1m. The stem is stiff, erect, smooth and round; the leaves are green to bluish green, alternate, dentate, 45cm long and oblong to lanceolate; the flowers are yellow, occurring in open panicles.
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#9 planthelper

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:11 AM

Actually, this statement is wrong, according to several sources. For the purposes of clarity, and to ensure the correct information is stated for other members, Lactuca virosa IS a biennial plant:

Herbalistics
Seeds can be either direct sown or first raised in pots. Lightly cover the seeds with soil or sand and keep moist until germination. Once the seedlings are big enough, they can be transplanted to the garden. Frost resistant. Likes a shaded well-watered position. Flowers and dies in its second year.

Wikipedia
It is bienniel, similar to Prickly lettuce Lactuca serriola but taller - it can grow to 200 cm. It is also stouter, the stem and leaves are more purple flushed,the leaves are less divided, but more spreading.

Shaman Australis
Lactuca virosa is a bienniel plant, it grows to a height of 2.5m with a spread of 1m. The stem is stiff, erect, smooth and round; the leaves are green to bluish green, alternate, dentate, 45cm long and oblong to lanceolate; the flowers are yellow, occurring in open panicles.


nice copy and paste info, but you have to learn to read more carefully, what i say.

i said: "at my location they flower after a few months and than die".
maybe at those locations, you copied and pasted from, they are biennial, but certainly not at my location.

but it happens often that, crap get's copied and pasted again and again, for example when it comes to some acacia seeds, some people think, they flower at set times of the year, but they don't!! the flower and set seed after heavy rain.

you obviously don't understand plants very well yet, it might be a good idea, for you to take observations with your own eyes!

just so you understand, if you would say, i had a lactuca plant for two seasons, than i would say, interressting.
anyway, i never have seen then going into another season, AT MY LOCATION.
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#10 Psylo

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 12:25 PM

you obviously don't understand plants very well yet


Thanks, as always, I really appreciate your advice :rolleyes:
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#11 whitewind

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 04:54 PM

In cooler climes it is indeed biennial.

In warmer climes it can reach the flowering and fruiting stage in the first year.

As far as I understand it they are both naturally from cooler climes, which is why the literature often states that they are biennial. However, I too have seen plants reach flowering in one season.

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#12 mud

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 09:26 PM

Would love to see a photo of (anyone's) virosa..

#13 planthelper

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 10:18 AM

In cooler climes it is indeed biennial.

In warmer climes it can reach the flowering and fruiting stage in the first year.

As far as I understand it they are both naturally from cooler climes, which is why the literature often states that they are biennial. However, I too have seen plants reach flowering in one season.

Can we all be friends again?


at my place they live for 4 months or so, over the colder periode a bit longer, hardly biennial.
the spring up after the rains, all over the year.
over winter they can jump up even after a little bit of rain.

Edited by planthelper, 10 March 2012 - 10:20 AM.

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#14 whitewind

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 12:19 PM

at my place they live for 4 months or so, over the colder periode a bit longer, hardly biennial.
the spring up after the rains, all over the year.
over winter they can jump up even after a little bit of rain.


As a scientist (or someone who thinks like a scientist) I don't automatically jump to the conclusion that Planthelper is wrong. Especially as I have seen the same behaviour myself. I also don't want to come out and say the literature is wrong either. Therefore, they are probably both right. Sometimes the plant is annual, sometimes biennial. It depends on the growing conditions where, in Planthelpers location, it is quite different to the native range of the plant (I assume). Without more information as to Planthelper's location, I can't say for certain if this is true.

But we see that a lot with plants, especially with weedy species that are unknown to spread wildly in their native habitat (probably because of healthy competition) but when they are moved they spread like wildfire. Plants are very adaptive.

Also, I work with plants that have been assessed as weedy here in Australia but are becoming quite rare in their native habitat - largely because of human expansion. These plants are lucky we moved them, but unlucky perhaps that we were there in the first place. Plants need to adapt to human needs to survive in the modern world, where their normal pollinators, fruit dispersers, and other mutually beneficent organisms have become extinct or in danger of becoming quite scarce. With climate change too, the most adaptive or those which can spread their seed the furthest will also be the plants to make it through the next major extinction.

Trees and long lived species may well be the ones to suffer most in a changing world. Lettuce is not one of them, so together with it's usefulness to humans, it will be almost guaranteed to survive. Lucky lettuce.

#15 Zen Peddler BlueGreenie

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:25 PM

I live at altitude in one of the coldest places in Australia and mine were all annuals. It was like they were in a rush to get to that stage before the sun went.

#16 Stillman

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:07 AM

in QLD, around here they appear to be annuals but I just pull them out as they are a real weed . I'll have to do some reading on them now, as I was under the impression they weren't very useful.
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