Wild lettuce sends up a stem from the middle of the plant along which the leaves form. The end of the stem will eventually produce a seed head. Wild lettuce has long been valued for its sedative properties and indeed, used today for sleeplessness and even anxiety and hyperactivity. It can calm a cough but also aids in expelling phlegm; it is also diuretic in nature and can increase urine flow. Lettuce appears in the historical record as far back as 600 B.C. It was listed as a favorite food in many cultures throughout the centuries. I believe the lettuce we eat today is a descendant of wild lettuce. One reason I think this is because I grow leaf lettuce in my garden and always let it go to seed; that way I get a Fall lettuce crop and it pops up again in early Spring. The lettuce seeds are surprisingly hardy, very tolerant of cold even freezing temperatures. Anyway, I also get a lot of wild lettuce in my garden, too and I think this is from my “domestic” lettuce. It is the leaves that are used. If you wish to use your crop of wild lettuce, you might pick the leaves and dry them for storage. I suggest storing them in small brown paper bags. When ready to use, crush and add to a soup or stew or brew a tea. The tea is supposed to be good for croup and colic in babies.