Lettuce Varieties and Types
of Lettuce

Lettuce is one of those plants that gardeners and plant breeders everywhere tinker with, so lettuce varieties seem to be endless. Salad-lovers of the world, rejoice!

There are 7 main Types of lettuce, and dozens of varieties within each type, so I’ll just describe each type, and mention a few favorite varieties. See Growing Lettuce for information on how to grow lettuce.



All seeds featured on this site are non-GMO.

Organic seeds are, by definition, non-GMO. Most varieties featured here are organic, but some varieties are only available as non-organic seed. Don't let this prevent you from trying a variety that looks interesting.

NOP (National Organic Program) guidelines allow the use of non-organic (but not GMO) seeds when organic seeds for that variety are not available. The way the plants are grown (without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides) is the primary determinant of whether they're grown organically.


Links to buy seeds go to seed companies that offer that variety. We are affiliates of Seeds Now and Burpee Seeds. We receive a commission on seed orders you place to these companies (the commission comes from the company, so you pay the same whether you click on our link or order directly from the company).

Commissions help pay for maintaining and updating this web site. Links to other seed companies are provided as a service, we receive no commission from them. Links open in new windows.



Looseleaf  |   Butterhead  |   Romaine (Cos)  |   Buttercrunch
Batavian  |   Heading  |   Chinese  |   Growing Lettuce



Looseleaf Lettuces

Looseleaf Lettuces are colorful, easy, and fast-growing lettuce varieties. The plants form open heads that allow you to harvest a few leaves at a time, or whole plants as needed.

Looseleaf lettuces go from seed to baby salads in 5 weeks, seed to salad in 7. Cut them off 1” above the ground with a pair of scissors, and looseleaf lettuce varieties will resprout in a couple weeks to give you a second cutting. See cut- and- come-again harvesting for more information.

Lettuce Varieties—Red and Green Oakleaf
Red and Green Oakleaf Lettuce
© Steve Masley
…Click IMAGE to Enlarge

‘Red Oak Leaf’ and ‘Green Oak Leaf’ (50-55 days) are two classic leaf lettuces. Slower to bolt than other leaf lettuce varieties, they also stay tender longer and take longer to become bitter.

Buy 'Green Oak Leaf' Seeds (Burpee Seeds)

Leaf Lettuce Varieties—‘Red Salad Bowl’ Growing in a Window Box
‘Red Salad Bowl’ Leaf Lettuce
© Steve Masley
…Click IMAGE to Enlarge

‘Red Salad Bowl’ ‘Red Salad Bowl’ (50 days, some frost tolerance) has loose, open heads of deep-red, frilly leaves. Good for early spring sowing.

Buy 'Red Salad Bowl' Seeds (Seeds Now)

Lettuce Varieties—‘Red Sails’ in a Window Box
‘Red Sails’ Leaf Lettuce
© Steve Masley
…Click IMAGE to Enlarge

‘Red Sails’ (52 days, slow-bolting, resists tipburn) has rouge-tinged green leaves, and resists bolting longer than other leaf lettuces. Doesn’t turn bitter till it forms a flower stalk.

Buy 'Red Sails' Seeds (Territorial)

Lettuce Varieties—‘Blushed Butter Oak’
'Blushed Butter Oak' Leaf
Lettuce
© Steve Masley
…Click IMAGE to Enlarge

'Blushed Butter Oak' (55 days) forms loose, open heads of rose-tinged, oak-shaped leaves.

Buy 'Blushed Butter Oak' Seeds (Seed Library)


Top of Page  |   Looseleaf  |   Butterhead  |   Romaine (Cos)
Buttercrunch  |   Batavian  |   Head Lettuce
Chinese Lettuce  |   Growing Lettuce




Butterhead Lettuces

Butterhead Lettuces form loose, open heads of melt-in-your mouth leaves. They thrive in the warm days of fall, and the cool days from spring to early summer.



‘Burgundy Boston’ (Open Pollinated, 50-55 days) forms loose, rose-tinged heads of soft, buttery leaves. One of the best butterhead lettuces we’ve grown.

Buy 'Burgundy Boston' Seeds (Seeds Now)

Lettuce Varieties—‘Burgundy Boston Butterhead’
'Burgundy Boston Butterhead'
Lettuce
© Steve Masley
…Click IMAGE to Enlarge

‘Merveille des Quatre Saisons’ (55-60 days)—also called ‘Continuity’ and ‘French Four Seasons’—is one of my favorite butterhead lettuce varieties. A French heirloom, it has green leaves tinged with red or bronze, and the leaves stay tender even when they’re bigger than your hand. Can be grown all year round in mild-winter gardens.

Buy 'Mervielles' Seeds (Territorial Seeds)

Growing Lettuce—‘Merveille des Quatre Saisons’, a.k.a ‘Continuity’
'Mervielle des Quatre Saison'
('Continuity') © Steve Masley
…Click IMAGE to Enlarge

‘Drunken Woman Frizzy Headed’ (Open Pollinated, 55 days) has pale green crinkled leaves tinged with rose or red (rose colors when grown in partial shade, red in sun). A beautiful, succulent leaf lettuce that's slow to bolt.

Buy 'Drunken Woman' Seeds (Territorial Seeds)

Lettuce Varieties—‘Drunken Woman Frizzy Headed’
'Drunken Woman Frizzy
Headed'
© Steve Masley
…Click IMAGE to Enlarge

‘Speckles’ (50-55 days) has beautiful green leaves shot with red patches that make a great addition to any salad. It’s a cross between a green butterhead and Forellenschluss romaine, below.

Buy 'Speckles' Seeds (Territorial Seeds)

Lettuce Varieties—‘Speckles’
'Speckles' Butterhead Lettuce
© Steve Masley
…Click IMAGE to Enlarge

‘Flashy Butter Oak’ (54 days) forms loose, buttery heads of green, oakleaf-shaped leaves that are splashed with red, like ‘Speckles’ above. Slow to bolt and become bitter. A client favorite.

Buy 'Flashy Butter Oak' Seeds (Territorial Seeds)

Lettuce Varieties—‘Flashy Butter Oak’
'Flashy Butter Oak' Lettuce
© Steve Masley
…Click IMAGE to Enlarge

‘Tom Thumb’ (50 days) grows into perfect little domes of soft leaves. Great for growing in pots, window boxes, salad tables, and vegetable container gardens.

Buy 'Tom Thumb' Seeds (Seeds Now)

 Lettuce Varieties—‘Tom Thumb’
'Tom Thumb' Baby Butterhead
Lettuces
© Steve Masley
…Click IMAGE to Enlarge

‘Skyphos’ (45-50 days) is one of the most beautiful lettuces we’ve grown. It has pale green leaves near the core, and shades of rose through the middle, deepening to red at the edges.

Buy 'Skyphos' Seeds (Johnny's Seeds)

Lettuce Varieties—‘Skyphos’
'Skyphos' Red Butterhead
© Steve Masley
…Click IMAGE to Enlarge

Top of Page  |   Looseleaf  |   Butterhead  |   Romaine (Cos)
Buttercrunch  |   Batavian  |   Head Lettuce
Chinese Lettuce  |   Growing Lettuce




Cos (Romaine) Lettuce

'Breen', a Baby Red Romaine Lettuce Variety
'Breen', a Baby Red Romaine Lettuce Variety
© Steve Masley (Click IMAGE to Enlarge)

Cos (Romaine) Lettuces form open, upright heads of deeply colored leaves. The leaves have stronger flavor than looseleaf varieties, and crunchy midribs

Romaine lettuce is essential for the classic Caesar salad. As long as they get enough water, romaine lettuces can withstand some summer heat.


'Breen' (55 days) is a red "baby" romaine that grows 6-8" high, and is great for salad tables and window boxes.

Buy 'Breen' Seeds (Johnny's Seeds)

‘Jericho’ (57 days) has beautiful, deep-green leaves, and stays sweet even in hot summer weather. Resistant to tip burn and lettuce mosaic virus.

Buy 'Jericho' Seeds (Johnny's Seeds)

‘Flashy Trout Back’ (55 days) is an Austrian heirloom romaine, also known as ‘Forellenschluss’ romaine. It has striking green leaves shot with red patches (similar to ‘Speckles’ butterhead above) and is very tender for a romaine. Beautiful and delicious in any salad. Moderate bolt resistance.

Buy 'Flashy Trout Back' Seeds (Territorial Seeds)


Top of Page  |   Looseleaf  |   Butterhead  |   Romaine (Cos)
Buttercrunch  |   Batavian  |   Head Lettuce
Chinese Lettuce  |   Growing Lettuce



Buttercrunch Lettuce

Lettuce Varieties—‘Winter Density’
Lettuce Varieties—‘Winter Density’
© Steve Masley (Click IMAGE to Enlarge)

Buttercrunch Lettuces are crosses between butterhead (bibb) and romaine varieties. They have a more upright structure, so fewer leaves are in contact with the soil when the weather turns cold, wet and dark.

This makes buttercrunch lettuces less subject to the leaf rots that can afflict butterhead lettuces in late fall and winter.

‘Winter Density’ (54 days) is a frost-tolerant bibb-romaine (buttercrunch-style) that has thick, dark-green leaves in a vertical rosette.

Buy 'Winter Density' Seeds (Seeds Now)

‘Buttercrunch’ (Open Pollinated, 48 days) forms tight, compact green heads of fan-shaped leaves. Excellent bolt resistance. A good choice for growing lettuce in summer.     Buy 'Buttercrunch' Seeds (Seeds Now)


Top of Page  |   Looseleaf  |   Butterhead  |   Romaine (Cos)
Buttercrunch  |   Batavian  |   Head Lettuce
Chinese Lettuce  |   Growing Lettuce


Batavian Lettuces

Batavian Lettuces, also known as Summer Crisp Lettuces, have thick, crunchy leaves that hold better in the heat than other varieties. Batavian lettuces are heavier feeders than butterheads, looseleaf, and cos varieties, so boost the organic fertilizers.

‘Nevada’ (48 days) produces heavy yields of crisp green leaves in spring and summer.

Buy 'Nevada' Seeds (Johnny's Seeds)

‘Mottistone’ (55 days) is a red-speckled summer crisp lettuce, similar to ‘Speckles’.

Buy 'Mottistone' Seeds (Territorial)


Top of Page  |   Looseleaf  |   Butterhead  |   Romaine (Cos)
Buttercrunch  |   Batavian  |   Head Lettuce
Chinese Lettuce  |   Growing Lettuce


Heading Lettuces (Crisphead Lettuces)

Heading Lettuces roll their leaves into tight heads at maturity, like cabbages. These are the standard Iceberg lettuces, prized for their disease resistance and ability to stand against summer heat without turning bitter, and known for their insipid, watery crunch

I don’t know how conventional farmers manage to make them so tasteless—heading lettuces grown organically have flavor, not just crunch.

‘Summertime’ (48 days) has medium-green heads with dark wrapper leaves.

Buy 'Summertime' Seeds (Sustainable Seed Company)

‘Red Iceberg’ (50 days) has rouge-tinged leaves that form tight, medium-sized heads.


Top of Page  |   Looseleaf  |   Butterhead  |   Romaine (Cos)
Buttercrunch  |   Batavian  |   Head Lettuce
Chinese Lettuce  |   Growing Lettuce


Chinese Lettuces

Chinese Lettuces are stiff, strong-flavored varieties. They’re grown for their stalks as well as their leaves, and their slight bitterness is muted in stir-fries and soups.

‘Celtuce’ is a celery-flavored variety.


Top of Lettuce Varieties Page  |   Looseleaf  |   Butterhead
Romaine (Cos)  |   Buttercrunch  |   Batavian  |   Head Lettuce
Chinese Lettuce  |   Growing Lettuce  |   Alphabetical List of Vegetables

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