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Weed identification

Lwilliams

New Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Fremont, California
Never mind, I think I found it on thetortoisetable.org and it's either prickly lettuce or wild lettuce, both of which are toxic. Too bad!
 

RosemaryDW

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
3,390
Location (City and/or State)
Newport Coast, CA
I actually think that’s bristly ox-tongue, one of the many chicories (dandelions and all lettuces are chicories). It’s a safe plant. Prickly lettuce in Southern California generally looks like this after they are a few weeks old:

4EBAD201-606F-44ED-8D06-3342F3151451.jpeg

If it grow into something that looks more like the picture above, it may help to know that opinions on prickly lettuce vary. The Tortoise Table is quite conservative; some owners take it with a grain of salt. If you look at what they say about prickly lettuce, the chemicals that may be a problem aren’t present when the plant is young. I feed my Russian wild lettuce in the spring. When they get to a certain age/time of year, she won’t eat them any more. Is it because they‘ve gotten to the point where the chemicals might be a problem? Or like many other plants, does it get bitter as it grows older? I don’t know but she stops eating it.

Only you know what’s right for your tortoise, no reason to feed anything you’re not comfortable with, especially if you are a new owner.
 

Lwilliams

New Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Fremont, California
I actually think that’s bristly ox-tongue, one of the many chicories (dandelions and all lettuces are chicories). It’s a safe plant. Prickly lettuce in Southern California generally looks like this after they are a few weeks old:

View attachment 288605

If it grow into something that looks more like the picture above, it may help to know that opinions on prickly lettuce vary. The Tortoise Table is quite conservative; some owners take it with a grain of salt. If you look at what they say about prickly lettuce, the chemicals that may be a problem aren’t present when the plant is young. I feed my Russian wild lettuce in the spring. When they get to a certain age/time of year, she won’t eat them any more. Is it because they‘ve gotten to the point where the chemicals might be a problem? Or like many other plants, does it get bitter as it grows older? I don’t know but she stops eating it.

Only you know what’s right for your tortoise, no reason to feed anything you’re not comfortable with, especially if you are a new owner.
Thank you!!
 

ZenHerper

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
242
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
Wild lettuces contain varying amounts of compounds that can be mildly sedating. You'd have to eat a lot to have a problem.

Otherwise they are quite healthful, and a leaf a day until the flowers come on for certain identification is fine. A properly heated adult tort will easily digest and metabolize them.
 

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