Seed Savers Exchange Lettuce Varieties – 2023

 

It’s not spring until lettuce is growing in the garden.   Whether you are looking to grow green lettuce, speckled lettuce or red lettuce, Green Thumbs has you covered!  

 

Spicy Greens Mix- This spicy selection of greens will enliven a salad or add a dash of flavor to a sandwich. This delectable, colorful baby salad greens mix includes Tango and Speckled lettuce, but raises the taste level with Red Russian kale, peppery arugula, endive, and Asian greens Peking Ta Ching Kou Pai Tsai and Mizuna. It can be used as a cut-and-come-again crop, or some plants can be left to grow and be eaten as they mature. Baby greens, 30 days.

  • Green Thumb Note: A great choice if you don’t know what type of lettuce you would like to grow or if you’re wanting to grow a ‘spring mix.’ Full of flavor and texture.

 

Anuenue Lettuce- Its mellifluous Hawaiian name may mean “rainbow,” but this lettuce is a beautiful, uniform bright green. A slow grower and bolter, ‘Anuenue’ matures as the days get shorter and the heat gets stronger. This University of Hawaii introduction bears crisp, sweet, succulent leaves and remains compact as it grows, surrounding its round, tightly packed heart with crisp outer leaves. Unlike the seed of most lettuce varieties, its seed will germinate at 80 degrees; this variety also has some cool- season hardiness when protected. Crisphead, 50 days.

  • Green Thumb Note: New to our offerings for 2023.  Based on its description, I may try to plant this variety in July because it will germinate in high temperatures.  Crisphead lettuce grows round compact heads with light green leaves.  Crisphead types are popular for lettuce wraps.

 

Aunt Mae’s Bibb Lettuce- A butterhead lettuce bursting with bright green leaves that tolerates both cold and heat. This variety was donated to Seed Savers Exchange by Nestor Keen, who received seeds from his Aunt Mae in 1937. Butterhead, 50-60 days.

  • Green Thumb Note: A garden staple and a customer favorite year over year. Butterhead lettuce is known for its succulent leaves with a tender texture and buttery flavor.

 

Forellenschluss Lettuce- (aka Speckled Trout Back) Gorgeous Austrian lettuce with green leaves speckled with maroon. Superior flavor; holds very well in the summer heat. Our all-time favorite! Romaine, 55 days.

  • Green Thumb Note: Gorgeous variety and a great romaine flavor. Romaine lettuce is best known for its crisp leaves and crunchy texture.

 

Gold Rush LettuceLime-green leaves are strikingly frilled, curly, and crinkled. Adds unique texture to salads. Holds without bolting for an extended period. Mild, fresh flavor. Looseleaf, 50-60 days

  • Green Thumb Note: Delectable flavor.  Buttery and smooth.  I’ve gotten countless cuttings off of one planting before it becomes bitter.  Loose Leaf varieties do not grow compact heads and are great for ‘cut and come again’ styles of growing lettuce.  

 

Grandma Hadley’s LettuceDonated to SSE in 1988 by Pam Andrew of Arizona. It was given to her by her 85-year-old great-aunt, Flossie Cramer, of Crawford County, IL. Flossie’s grandmother, Emma Hadley, grew the lettuce when Flossie was a child (around 1915). It was a family favorite used in a wilted lettuce salad with hot bacon dressing. The dark purple tinged leaves are buttery, crisp and slightly sweet. Butterhead, 40-50 days.

  • Green Thumb Note: Rosy leaf edges are so cute!! Butterhead lettuce is known for its succulent leaves with a tender texture and buttery flavor.

 

Red Velvet LettuceAbsolutely striking appearance. Tops of leaves are solid maroon, and the backs are green tinged with maroon. SSE is proud to have reintroduced this variety in 2002. Slow to bolt. Looseleaf, 55 days.

  • Green Thumb Note: I love to grow red lettuces for some visual interest in my garden.  This red variety stands out amongst the crowd while maintaining an excellent flavor.  Loose Leaf varieties do not grow compact heads and are great for ‘cut and come again’ styles of growing lettuce.

 

Seed Savers Lettuce MixThis well-balanced mix of cutting lettuces brings any salad to life. Consisting of tender Australian Yellowleaf, flavorful Forellenschluss, mild Lolla Rossa, striking Red Velvet, and at least four more of our favorite varieties, this cut-and-come-again mix will have a colorful salad on the table within weeks of planting. 40-45 days.

  • Green Thumb Note: An excellent choice if you want a variety of lettuce but only wish to purchase one seed packet.  All varieties will perform well in the Gallatin Valley.

 

Slobolt LettuceIntroduced in the mid 1940s by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, MD. Large thick clusters of light green frilled leaves are produced all summer. As its name suggests, this variety is very slow to bolt. Pleasing flavor, never bitter. Looseleaf, 45-55 days.

  • Green Thumb Note: My summer go-to variety.  Great for a new gardener or an experienced one looking for a variety that will do well all summer long.  Loose Leaf varieties do not grow compact heads and are great for ‘cut and come again’ styles of growing lettuce.

 

Speckled LettuceFamily heirloom sent to SSE in 1983 by SSE member Mark Reusser. His father obtained it from Urias Martin, whose Mennonite ancestors likely brought it in the early 1800s from Pennsylvania to Ontario. Juicy thick leaves are green tinged with red. Mild flavor. Looseleaf, 40-55 days

  • Green Thumb Note: My favorite type of speckled lettuce.  Easy to grow and gives visual interest to your garden.  Loose Leaf varieties do not grow compact heads and are great for ‘cut and come again’ styles of growing lettuce.

 

Summertime Lettuce– True to its name, this beautiful and delicious crisphead variety tolerates heat and resists bolting. Plants measure 7-8.3″ long and 14.5-17″ wide and produce a solid, round head. Large, silvery-green leaves are highly toothed and measure from 7.8-10.2″ long and 8.2-12.2″ wide. It is very sweet, incredibly crisp, and extremely juicy leaves earned this variety high marks when it was evaluated at Seed Savers Exchange in 2015. Bred by Dr. James Baggett at Oregon State University in the late 1980s for areas where lettuce can be grown throughout the summer, this variety was donated to SSE in the 1990s by member Mary Schultz of Monroe, Washington. 80 days. Organic.

  • Green Thumb Note: An excellent option for a warmer section of your garden or if you are frustrated by other varieties bolting too fast.  Crisphead lettuce grows round compact heads with light green leaves.  Crisphead types are popular for lettuce wraps.

 

Tango Lettuce- A widely adapted variety that has a tender texture and tangy flavor and is rich in vitamins. It’s often used in lettuce mixtures for market. Uniform, attractive plants form tight, erect rosettes. Deeply cut, pointed leaves. Very slow to bolt. The variety was introduced by W. Atlee Burpee Company in 1986. Looseleaf, 45-60 days.

  • Green Thumb Note: More crisp than ‘Gold Rush’ lettuce but performs in a similar fashion.  Great for multiple cuttings throughout the growing season.  Loose Leaf varieties do not grow compact heads and are great for ‘cut and come again’ styles of growing lettuce.

 

Winter Density Lettuce(aka Craquerelle du Midi) Bred in England. Large dark green curled leaves form upright 8-10″ heads. Sweet, crisp, and succulent. Slow to bolt in summer heat yet also cold tolerant. Bibb-Romaine, 55 days.

Green Thumb Note: One of the most cold hardy lettuces on the market.  Winter Density is great for early season plantings and also resists bolting in the summer, making it an excellent option for succession planting.  Bibb-Romaine varieties have qualities of both butterhead and romaine lettuces.

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