Italienischer - a spectacular lettuce
I'm a big fan of Italienischer lettuce. It makes my list of best vegetables. It's a spectacular variety of lettuce that creates a rather large "blossom" of large leaves that looks similar to a spear tip with some jagged edges.
The leaves are so large that a single serving salad could be made from a single leaf.
The texture of this lettuce is crisp and the flavor is sweet. If you plan to grow this variety, plant one seedling in a 2 foot diameter area. You'll need the space.
When mature this variety will completely fill up an area that you might normally set aside for a cabbage plant.
Italienischer is cold hardy to below freezing if you give it some additional protection, and it's among the more bolt resistant of the lettuce varieties that I grow.
Given the heat of a greenhouse, it will bolt, but other varieties start to bolt weeks ahead of this wonderful lettuce.
Photo right shows the size of these enormous spike shaped leaves.
I want to say that this type of lettuce defies categorization, but I'm certain someone has found a place for it. It's not a traditional loose leaf lettuce, it certainly isn't a butterhead lettuce, and it's not a romaine type either. It's best harvested one leaf at a time, so perhaps it's a leaf lettuce.
The characteristic pattern of growth is that of a tightly bunched plant that "blossoms" out with large spiked leaves. It's hard to believe until you see it for yourself.
Leaves from this lettuce variety would make a nice form of bedding for a party tray, but we like to tear them up for use in a salad. You'll like this variety because it's productive, sweet, crisp and tolerates heat quite well.
Done with Italienischer, back to Growing Vegetables