Plant Library


Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce

Lactuca sativa var. crispa 'Black Seeded Simpson'

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Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. crispa 'Black Seeded Simpson') at Pesche's Garden Center

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce foliage

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  12 inches

Spacing:  8 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  (annual)

Other Names:  Leaf Lettuce


A lovely addition to any cool weather container or garden; vigorous growth and slow to bolt, this heirloom selection features large, loosely packed crumpled leaves; bright green heads are tender, sweet and delicious; great for salads and garnish

Edible Qualities

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce is an annual vegetable plant that is commonly grown for its edible qualities. The crinkled oval lime green leaves are usually harvested from mid spring to early fall. The leaves have a sweet taste and a soft texture.

The leaves are most often used in the following ways:

  • Fresh Eating
  • Eating When Cooked/Prepared

Planting & Growing

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 inches. When planted in rows, individual plants should be spaced approximately 8 inches apart. This vegetable plant is an annual, which means that it will grow for one season in your garden and then die after producing a crop. Because of its relatively short time to maturity, it lends itself to a series of successive plantings each staggered by a week or two; this will prolong the effective harvest period.

This plant is typically grown in a designated vegetable garden. It does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average conditions that are neither too wet nor too dry, and is very intolerant of standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America, and it is considered by many to be an heirloom variety.; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce is a good choice for the vegetable garden, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing the canvas against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Garden  Container 
Ornamental Features