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Corn Salad strip

Cornsalad - Valerianella locusta

Cornsalad - Valerianella locusta

Edible plant - novice (for Genus)

Other common names: Common Corn Salad, Field Salad, Lamb's Lettuce, Lewiston Cornsalad and Nut Lettuce

Season - Winter to Summer

Scientific name meaning: Valerianella is of Latin origin and means small Valerian. Locusta is the Latin for grasshopper or locust

Cornsalad or Lamb's Lettuce habitat


Most often found in dry, moist or poor soils including coastal areas, arable land, waste ground, garden borders, pavements, roadsides, in walls and on cliffs. It is also cultivated.

Cornsalad structure

Overall structure

Very densely branched causing it to be much wider at its top than its base. However, the base of the plant consists of a large rosette of leaves. Can reach 30cm in height. Found as individual plants or in dense drifts.

Cornsalad leaf


The lower leaves are rich-green in colour and are spoon-shaped, the upper leaves are arranged in opposing pairs, are paler in colour and have an elongated oval shape. The pinnate veins of the base leaves are clearly visible on the top and bottom of the leaf.

Cornsalad or Lamb's Lettuce stem


The stems, which are slightly hairy, split two ways directly above each pair of leaves and in the same direction as the leaves.

Cornsalad or Lamb's Lettuce flower


The pale blue to mauve flowers appear from April to June. They are arranged in dense umbel-like heads at the terminal ends of the stems

Forget-me-not - Lamb's Lettuce or Cornsalad lookalike

Possible lookalikes

There are several species of Cornsalad, Valerianella locusta being the most common. Their seed shapes distinguish them but all species are edible. Some may confuse Forget-me-not (Myosotis spp) with Cornsalad. However, Forget-me-not has much larger flowers and the stems do not branch into pairs

Use as a food The leaves, flowers and flowering stems can be used raw in salads. The leaves have a nutty flavour and excellent texture, so are often consumed in large quantities

Hazards None known at time of writing

Use in herbal medicine None know. If you know of any, please let us know

If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner

Other uses None known

Importance to other species Food source of grazing mammals

Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!

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