Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
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  • Rough White Lettuce

    SCIENTIFIC NAME: Prenanthes aspera

    COMMON NAME: Rough Whit Lettuce, Rough Rattlesnake-root, White Lettuce

    BLOOM TIME: Aug, Sept


    • Tall slender plant to 6 ft. tall.
    • Creamy white ray-like flowers cluster at top with a light fragrance.
    • Unbranched hairy stems contain a milky sap.
    • Habitat: upper 2/3 of Illinois prairies in full sun.
    • Indicator of high quality prairie.
    • Choctaws made tea from roots & tops to increase urine flow & relieve pain.
    • Bitter roots were used to treat snakebite.


    • Cattle and other mammalian herbivores usually leave this plant alone because of its rough hairy foliage & bitter latex sap.