General information

Lettuce

Lactuca sativa

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is a leafy vegetable valued for its fiber and vitamin content. The crop is cultivated in open fields and greenhouses, occupying more than one million hectares globally. China, India, USA, Spain, Italy, Japan and Turkey are among the largest producers in terms of cultivated area. The annual global production value is around USD 10.8 billion.

Lettuce probably originated in Mesopotamia. From there, it dispersed to Egypt by 2500 BC, and later to Greece. It reached China between 600 and 900 AD, and America during the Columbian Exchange.

Genesys lists information for more than 9,000 accessions; 35% are held in the USDA-ARS genebanks, and 26% at the Centre for Genetic Resources, the Netherlands (CGN). The lettuce collection at CGN is considered the world’s most diverse.

Original name
Lettuce
Accessions in Genesys
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Holding institutes
NLD037
USA022
GBR006
USA974
BGR001
Other
3,966
Country of holding institute
BGR
Other
2,588
Most represented Genera
Lactuca
Latuca
Chondrilla
Mycelis
Ixeridium
Other
2
Most represented Species
Lactuca sativa
Lactuca serriola
Lactuca saligna
Lactuca virosa
Lactuca georgica
Other
106
Other names
asparagus lettuce
butterhead lettuce
cabbage lettuce
cos lettuce
crisphead lettuce
curled lettuce
garden lettuce
head lettuce
heading lettuce
Iceberg lettuce
lechuga
lettuce
lettuce cos group