Types of lettuce: old and new types of lettuce with picture | list

Whether as an accompaniment to meat, pasta and other foods, or as a main meal for vegetarian or even vegan diets, salad has always been an elementary part of our menu. Fresh, healthy and varied, it complements our other food supply towards a balanced and comprehensive supply of our body. The following overview of all and new types of lettuce makes it clear how diverse and large the world of lettuce varieties actually is.

cultivation and rearing

Although there is an almost unmanageable variety of lettuce varieties, most lettuce types are the same, at least in terms of rearing and cultivation. Since lettuce generally grows rather gracefully and rarely has strong and deep roots, all types of lettuce are happy about loose and well-draining soil that avoids waterlogging. However, a good water supply is essential, as all types of lettuce lose moisture very quickly due to their thin plant skin and wilt and, in extreme cases, die if there is a lack of water. Likewise, protection against excessive sunlight should be guaranteed, especially when planting in midsummer, to prevent the tender plants from burning.

While flat-growing types of lettuce, such as lamb’s lettuce and rocket, are sown directly outdoors, it is usually advisable to rear them in planters and then transplant them outdoors for solitary species.

Of course, the mostly fast-growing lettuce needs a good supply of all common nutrients, but due to the short growth time, fertilization can usually be limited to soil preparation, or at least only a few fertilizer applications.

Well-known and widespread types of lettuce

Anyone who hears the term salad certainly has a very specific image in mind. Mostly it is about the following types of lettuce, which are widespread in our country and available almost everywhere.

iceberg lettuce

  • Cultivation and harvest time : outdoors May to October
  • Appearance : Compact head of lettuce with tight fitting, firm, light green to whitish leaves
  • Taste / Consumption: crisp, fresh, high water content
  • Storage : refrigerated for up to a week possible
  • Origin : North America

Specifics : Name comes from the ice with which they were formerly chilled on the crossing from their country of origin


  • Cultivation and harvest time : outdoors May to November
  • Appearance : medium-firm lettuce with loose leaves, strong green coloring of young and older leaves
  • Flavor : mild and delicate, about 95% water content
  • Storage : can only be stored to a limited extent, wilts quickly, refrigerated for up to two days
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Special features : is one of the most widespread types of lettuce for domestic cultivation

Red Lollo

  • Cultivation and harvest time : outdoors summer months, availability in winter mainly through deliveries from Mediterranean countries
  • Appearance : Very curled leaves, dark red leaves with dark green stems
  • Flavor : strong and intense with a strong bitter note
  • Storage : can be stored refrigerated for only a few days, after which the leaves will wither and the firmness and flavor of the leaves will quickly decrease

Special features : high proportion of anthocyanins in the red-colored parts of the leaves, which are considered to be scavengers of free radicals in the body

Lollo Bionda

  • Bright variant of Lollo Rosso

Characteristics and cultivation comparable, instead of red parts of the leaves here dark green coloring, therefore also lower proportion of anthocyanins

oak leaf lettuce

Oak leaf lettuce and endive lettuce
  • Cultivation and harvest time : June to autumn
  • Appearance : similar to Lollo, but leaves are wavy rather than jagged, leaf margins are reminiscent of the eponymous oak leaves; available in red and green coloring; comparatively delicate leaf structures
  • Taste : nutty and aromatic
  • Storage : refrigerated for a few days

Special features : high proportion of anthocyanins in the red-colored parts of the leaves, which are considered to be scavengers of free radicals in the body


  • Cultivation and harvest time : September to November
  • Appearance : grass green with a yellowish core, Frisée variant with leaves that are very ruffled towards the tip, Escariol variant with smooth, only slightly wavy leaves
  • Taste : strong bitter taste due to the bitter substance lactucopicrin
  • Storage : refrigerated for a few days up to a week, but can be enjoyed fresh from the garden for a long time due to the harvest season until November

Special features : high content of minerals, beta-carotene and folic acid, bitter substances can be partially washed out with lukewarm water in order to achieve a milder taste


  • Cultivation and harvest time : October to April
  • Appearance : Compact, elongated head with whitish leaves tipped with pale green, size well below other lettuce size
  • Flavor : intense to tart-bitter
  • Storage : Can be stored better in the fridge than most other types of lettuce, but can be kept fresh throughout the winter thanks to controlled rearing from the tuber
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Peculiarities : reared as a shoot from chicory bulbs, therefore available fresh over the winter, contains a lot of potassium, magnesium, calcium and beta-carotene, bitter substances are considered to promote digestion


  • Cultivation and harvest time : Summer months, around June to September
  • Appearance : smooth red leaves with white veins, round rather compact head reminiscent of cabbage
  • Taste : bitter-tart taste
  • Storage : refrigerated for up to a week

Specifics : rich in minerals, vitamins and iron

Lamb’s lettuce

  • Cultivation and harvest time : November to February
  • Appearance : Rich green, small leaves, harvested in single florets
  • Flavor : strong nutty
  • Storage : Difficult, very limited in a cooling bag in the refrigerator for a few days

Special features : contains vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, folic acid and beta-carotene in far higher proportions than most other types of lettuce

Alte Salatsorten

In addition to the well-known and widespread types of lettuce, there are also lettuce that we have forgotten today and are only gradually finding their way back into our gardens and kitchens. Some of these have already made the step back into the focus of attention, while others are well known but hardly noticed as a lettuce or even edible plant.


  • Cultivation and harvest time : June to the end of summer
  • Appearance : Solitary, long narrow leaves with a wavy edge
  • Flavor : nutty to spicy
  • Storage : refrigerated for up to a week

Specialties : for a long time rather considered a weed, since the advent of Italian cuisine it has been very popular again

Romana / Romaine lettuce

  • Cultivation and harvest time : Late summer, especially September / October
  • Appearance : firm, crisp leaves with elongated growth, strongly pronounced ribs whitish, leaves increasingly dark green in colour
  • Taste: crisp and fresh
  • Storage : refrigerated quite well storable up to a week

Special features : known from “Cesar’s Salade”, but already cultivated in Roman times in Europe, especially lettuce hearts very popular, high proportion of vitamins A and C, as well as iron

devil ear

  • Cultivation and harvest time : late summer to autumn
  • Appearance : Firm, crisp leaves with elongated habit, rich green leaf coloring with red “devil’s ears” at the tips
  • Flavor : crisp and fresh
  • Storage : refrigerated for a few days up to a week
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Specialties : old form of the better-known romaine lettuce

trout conclusion

  • Growing and harvesting time : Late summer
  • Appearance : Firm, slightly wavy leaves of light green speckled with red, similar to the coloring of the trout skin from which it takes its name
  • Flavor : mild to tart
  • Storage : refrigerated for a few days

Characteristics : a subspecies of romaine lettuce that has never been completely forgotten but has been supplanted at times by other, more modern varieties


  • Cultivation and harvest time : all year round outside of the frost periods
  • Appearance : Specimen plants with long, narrow leaves, rich green in color with a wavy or jagged edge
  • Flavor : nutty tart
  • Storage : can only be stored for a few days, but due to the almost year-round availability little storage requirement

Particularities : More commonly known as a weed today, the leaves are edible and were part of every simple diet in the past


  • Cultivation and harvest time : summer lettuce, harvest in the summer months from June to October, late shooting and fast-growing
  • Appearance : Head-forming, delicate flat leaves with a striking coloring from green at the base to dark red at the edge, slightly curled or wavy formation of the leaf ends
  • Flavor : delicate and mild
  • Storage : only conditionally storable, refrigerated only a few days

Special features : oldest known German lettuce variety

Salad asparagus

  • Cultivation and Harvest Time : Summer and Autumn months
  • Appearance : tall at harvest time, clearly recognizable stalk with laterally spreading leaves
  • Flavor : reminiscent of the asparagus that gives it its name, but tart and sometimes bitter notes
  • Storage : refrigerated for up to a week

Special features : formerly used as a substitute for real asparagus, salads are left until they “shoot” and are harvested shortly before buds form, leaves are inedible due to the bitter substances produced when shooting, stalk is to be peeled and then eaten raw or cooked, can in principle can be pulled from any lettuce, but special varieties have a particularly strong stem-forming effect and are therefore more productive

deer tongue

  • Cultivation and harvest time : July to October
  • Appearance : compact, small heads with triangular leaves reminiscent of deer tongues, dark green in colour
  • Flavor : fleshy crunchy with exceptional sweetness
  • Storage : Hardly storable as it withers quickly

Specialties : very slow-shooting, so it is considered a year-round lettuce

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