Lactuca sativa – Lac, latin for ‘milk’ referring to the white sap, and sativa for ‘cultivated’.
The origin of cultivation dates from early days in the temperate parts of Caucasus (Azerbaijan and Georgia), in Kurdistan, Kashmir and Siberia. The Romans grew a pointed, narrow-leafed Cos just like the Rabbit’s Ear lettuce that we know today. It was only in the 16th century that the head lettuce was described for the first time.
Lettuces need to grow fast with adequate water in hot Australian summers. They’ll do better and are more tender grown under a shade cloth or a bush than in full sun. To ensure that Romaine lettuces heart up, it’s best to grow them close to each other. Tender hearts can also be obtained by binding the leaves together as they grow.