This list of 18 Types of Lettuce will help you in selecting the best lettuce varieties you should grow in your garden or containers.
If you’re a fan of this crispy salad green, then you must know about various types of lettuce so that you can select the best lettuce varieties for your garden. As homegrown lettuce taste as good as tomatoes, you should grow it even if you don’t own a garden–in containers. In your apartment balcony, patio, or windowsill, it’s easy. Check out this article to learn more.
1. Crisphead Lettuce
As the name suggests, the texture is crisp and leaves a mild taste in the mouth. It has a cabbage-like round head that is formed by the overlapping curved leaves. As the leaves are compactly packed the round head formed is also tight and compact.
In this category, the most popular lettuce is Iceberg. A refreshing flavor with a long shelf life makes it must-have lettuce. You can have it in salads, sandwiches or as side-dressing to other dishes.
Also going by the name French lettuce, it’s resistant to heat. The tender leaves and sweet ribs can grow back again after harvesting. Initially, the leaves spread out, but as time passes, turn to a compact head when the plant reaches maturity.
It’s a hybrid variety of Iceberg lettuce explicitly developed to withstand hot temperatures. It can grow to a height of 6-12 inches with a compact head and crisp leaves. This is perfect for those trying to grow lettuce in warmer climates.
2. Summer Crisp, French Crisp or Batavian
The lettuce coming under this variety lies between Crisphead and looseleaf. The outer leaves are thick and crisp with inner shell sweet and juicy with a nutty flavor — most of the varieties falling under this category mature in 55-60 days.
You can it early in the season, providing an Ice crunch and sweetness without the wait. With a multitude of colors to choose from and adaptable to extreme climatic conditions, it is a worthy garden companion. You can plant it directly into the ground, raised beds, or containers.
If the lobed leaves were not enough, the deep cherry red color makes it even more attractive. The color turns to bright green at the center of the tender yet dense heart. Side dressing becomes even more fun with the addition of color and texture of this lettuce.
Being heat tolerant, it can be planted in summer gardens and well as springs. The bronze leaves surrounding the bright green are a lovely sight. Not only that, but the crisp and crunchy texture offers a healthy edible snack.
It’s a sweet and crisp lettuce cultivar from Hawai and is highly heat tolerant. Unlike other lettuce, its seeds can germinate in temperature as high as 80 degrees F. It’s a slow grower with leaves not turning bitter even after the plant reaches maturity.
3. Butterhead Lettuce
The texture of the leaves is somewhat buttery with pale green outer leaves and yellow-green inner leaves. The head is loose, small, and a bit flattened, giving it the appearance of an open rose. The leaves have a mild and succulent flavor.
The leaves are smooth like butter, are delicate to the touch, and get damaged easily. The large and cupped leaves make them perfect for wrapping tuna or chicken. You can also boil or braise the leaves to have cooked lettuce.
It has a relatively smaller head compared to the Boston lettuce and, thus, smaller leaves. Even with the small leaves, it is used to wrap food, but primarily, it’s used in salads. Bibb makes up for the small size by more adding more flavor.
Just like its brethren, it also has buttery textured leaves that enclose the juicy and sweet inner core. It is slightly more resistant to heat and bolting than other butterhead lettuces.
4. Romaine Lettuce
Also called Cos lettuce, it has been cultivated for more than 5000 years. The large and narrow leaves grow upright to around 8-9 inches and form a loaf-shaped head. The leaves are crisp, tender, and sweet with the lighter, inner leaves being the crispiest. Outer leaves are dark green, less crispy, and slightly less flavorful.
This European heirloom also goes by the name Cimmaron. The leaves are sweet, large, and possess a buttery texture. The leaves range from green to bronze, to deep red. It’s resistant to both heat and cold and matures quickly.
The heads are tall and light green and can grow up to 24 inches in height. It retains the sweet flavor in leaves for a longer duration compared to other lettuce and thrives in hot summers.
Paris White Cos
There is no alternative to it when it comes to traditional Caesar salad. The elongated lettuce head is a bit cylindrical and grows top around 10 inches tall. The pencil-like wode stalk adds to its crunchiness.
5. Leaf Lettuce
Instead of forming heads like other lettuce varieties, this lettuce’s structure consists of loosely packed leaves attached to the stem. The texture and color of the leaves vary for different cultivars. It’s easy to grow, and that’s what makes it gardener’s favorite.
The reddish-purple hue at the top of the leaves is its distinguishing feature. So if you are looking to add a burst of color to your vegetable garden, this is the one. Being nutritionally dense, it’s also one of the healthiest lettuce.
Not only does this lettuce taste well, but it also steals the show with its appearance. The loose leaves are curly and wavy, giving it a distinctive look. Looking well in the container, it’s resistant to bolting.
As the name suggests, the leaves are deeply lobed and shaped like leaves of the oak tree. It can grow in small spaces and presents you with a choice of red, green, or gold oakleaf lettuce.
When it comes to nutrition, red sails contain around six times vitamin A and three times vitamin C compared to typical supermarket lettuce. The large and crumpled leaves are ruffled and brown-red at the edges.
The thick succulent stems are tender and juicy, and that’s what makes it stand apart. Also going by the name stem lettuce, they are a combination of celery and lettuce. People define the flavor having similarity to zucchini, cucumber, artichoke, celery, or even a mix of all these. You can consume it raw in salads, or stir fry with other veggies or meat.
Also Read: 31 Types of Succulents You didn’t Know About