Mycelis muralis

Images of this species:

Common look-alikes:



Mycelis muralis is a slender, glabrous, herbaceous plant. It is annual to biennial depending on the habitat. Stems are erect, 2-3 feet tall, branched above and may one or more stems from a fibrous root. The stem surface is glabrous, often glaucous, and exudes milky juice when broken.


Basal and lower stem leaves are 2.5-7 inches long, 1-3 inches wide, glabrous and deeply lobed, with broad, terminal segments. Leaf base is auriculate (lobed). The few middle and upper stem leaves are reduced in size.


Each flower head is comprised of 5 yellow, strap-shaped ray florets.


Achenes are approximately 0.13 inches long, several-nerved, and black or brown with white pappus that may disperse seeds long distances by wind.


This is considered a watch list species


Native to Eurasia


Grows in disturbed habitats, meadows, and fields.

Ecological Threat

Mycelis muralis reproduces exclusively by seed. A plant may produce up to 500 seeds in shaded sites and up to 11,500 seeds in open sites. Wall lettuce can grow in deep shade and full sun. It is adapted to a range of soil conditions. It readily invades disturbed habitats.

Management Options

  • Be careful not to damage or kill nearby native plants when conducting management work.

  • Always read and follow pesticide label directions. Application of pesticides may require a certification from the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. The Agency website provides information on what applicator certification is needed.


Photo Credit

Wall lettuce, 5450699, 5450682, 5450662, Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org

Orange hawkweed, 5516326, Becca MacDonald, Sault College, Bugwood.org

Sow thistle, 1383063, Tom Heutte, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

Information Credit 

Go Botany