Lactuca floridana is an annual or biennial herb (NYS Rare SH, U), large, 50 cm to 2 m tall, sap milky.
Leaves alternate, stalked, blade 8-30 cm long, 2.5-20 cm wide, elliptic, irregularly lobed, lobes pointed, toothed.
Flowers blue, all rays (ligulate), 11-17 per head, bracteate base of head 0.9-1.4 cm tall in fruit; inflorescence large, branched; blooms and fruits Aug.-Oct.
Fruit dry, 1-seeded achenes with bright white plume (pappus); seeds eaten by birds, plants eaten by deer (Martin et al. 1951).
Wetland status: FACU-.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent (rare).
Habitat: Open woods, edges.