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Lactuca sativa ‘Drunken Woman’   Family: Asteraceae
(lak-TOO-kah  saw-TEE-vah)
Type: butterhead
syn. ‘Rossa di Trento’

Common name: ‘Drunken Woman’; ‘Frizzy Head’
Zone: 9 – 11
Height: 8 – 12 in (20-30 cm) Spread: 6 – 8 in (15-20 cm)
Aspect: full sun; partial shade
Soil: fertile; well-draining
Water: regular     

Description: A robust, butterhead-type lettuce. Large, oval, savoy-type leaves are blistered in texture. They are a delightful mint-green colour with the ruffled edges dipped in wine-red.

 

Special Notes: An Italian heirloom from Milan, traditionally called Cappuccio ubriacona frastagliata which translates to “drunken woman frizzy-headed”. It is also known as ‘Rossa di Trento’ in some seed catalogues and references, stating a claim this lettuce is from the Italian Alps near Trento. Not sure who is right…other than it is an heirloom and is, indeed, from Italy.

There is also further controversy over what lettuce category this one falls into. Some claim it is a butterhead type, while others claim it is a loose-leaf. The head is definitely round and fairly tight, as a butterhead. However, the leaves are quite large and have a tendency to fall away from the inner head somewhat. Its flavour is decidedly crunchier than a typical butterhead, with a faint nutty overtone rather than a buttery one.

 

How to Grow: Start seeds indoors under grow lights early in March. Direct seed outdoors when soil temperature reaches a minimum of 1.7 °C (35 °F). Optimum soil temperature for lettuce seed germination is 10 – 21 °C (50 – 70 °F). Amend soil with compost and a complete organic fertilizer before planting. Sow seed at a depth of ¼ – ½ in (6 – 12 mm) in rows 18 – 24 in (45 – 60 cm) apart. Thin seedlings to a spacing of 12 in (30 cm) for head lettuce and 8 – 10 in (20 – 25 cm) for leaf lettuce types. For a continuous supply of lettuce throughout the season, sow a few more seeds every 2 – 3 weeks. Cover early and late sowings with a poly tunnel or row cover to protect lettuces from frost. Ready to harvest in 50 – 60 days from direct seeding in optimum temperatures.

 

Posted on March 30, 2017