Lettuce Varieties - What's the Difference?

variety of lettuce

There are literally hundreds of different lettuce varieties available to the backyard vegetable gardener. They come in a wide variety of sizes, tastes, textures and colors. In fact, lots of seed companies today blend several varieties of lettuce in a single seed packet. This is a great way to try out several different varieties without spending a ton of money on seeds or taking up a bunch of space in your garden. We spent a couple of years trying out different varieties and have settled on several favorites. We encourage you to do the same and find out which lettuce varieties you like best.

Here is a list of some common varieties of lettuce, along with plant descriptions, etc...

Different Leaf Lettuce Varieties

Leaf Lettuce Varieties - easy to harvest as needed

  • Green Ice - this variety is ready in 45 days, very sweet taste, large ruffled leaves are green in color, moderately crisp, best in cool weather

  • Black-Seeded Simpson - this heirloom variety has been around for about 150 years, ready in 45 days, tender leaves have a delicate flavor, large green leaves, best in cool weather

  • Simpson Elite - this variety is fast growing, light green leaves are tender, heat tolerant, ready in 48 days, mildly sweet

  • Prizeleaf - ready in about 50 days, heat tolerant, tender leaves are green with dark red edges, good lettuce flavor

  • Salad Bowl - this variety produces crisp green leaves with sweet flavor, very tender, ready in 45 days, best in cool weather

  • Red Salad Bowl - this unique variety boasts dark red to purple leaves, ready in 50 days, slightly sweet and spicy flavor, best in cool weather

  • Royal Oak - this variety is ready in 50 days, heat resistant, dark green leaves resemble oak leaves, tender with good flavor

Bibb Lettuce

Bibb Lettuce Varieties - feature a buttery texture

  • Buttercrunch - this popular variety features a soft, loosely formed head, the outer edges of the leaves are green and the inside is a soft yellow color, buttery texture, sweet flavor, heads are formed in 75 days, best in cool weather

  • EZ Serve - this variety is only available from the Burpee seed company, features dark green leaves which are mild in flavor, slightly sweet, loose heads are formed in 65 days, best in cool weather

  • Santa Fe - this variety features very crisp leaves in a loosely formed head, heat tolerant, ready in 55 days, tall leaves are green with dark red edges, good flavor

  • Burpee Bibb - this variety is similar to Buttercrunch and has loosely formed heads, green on the outside and creamy yellow on the inside, very sweet flavor and tender texture, best in cool weather, ready in 75 days

  • Four Seasons - this heirloom variety is meant for cold weather, stands up very well to slight freezes, ready in 54 days, outer leaves are dark green and have dark red splotches, soft yellow color inside, tender texture and buttery flavor

Romaine Lettuce

Romaine Lettuce Varieties - traditionally used to make Caesar salad

  • Braveheart - this very large variety features crisp full hearts that are green all the way through, ready in 70 days, best in cool weather, outer and inner leaves are tender and mild, good Romaine flavor

  • Vivian - this variety produces giant heads that can reach 16 inches long, ready in 70 days, vibrant green leaves have a buttery texture similar to Bibb lettuce, distinguished white ribs, good flavor, will tolerate a light frost, best in cool weather

  • Little Caesar - this variety features tall heads, dark green outer leaves are tender, vibrant yellow hearts are crisp, classic Romaine taste, ready in 70 days, best in cool weather

Growing Lettuce Head

Crisphead Lettuce Varieties - feature crisp leaves, tightly formed head

  • Igloo - this variety is ready in 70 days, features a crisp head that can reach 10 inches in diameter, very green leaves are crunchy, mild flavor, good heat tolerance

  • Crispy Frills - this variety can be harvested as leaf lettuce in 50 days or as a tightly formed head in 80 days, very crisp leaves are curly and unique, somewhat heat tolerant, outer leaves are dark green, inner leaves are light yellow

  • Iceberg - this is the classic crisphead lettuce, very compact head, very crisp and crunchy leaves are light green, hearts are almost white, ready in 85 days, best in cool weather

  • Summertime - this variety boasts firm compact heads, leaves are very sweet, outer leaves are vibrant green and hearts are off-white, good heat tolerance, ready in 70 days, good all-around head lettuce variety

Rows Of Lettuce

Click here to learn about planting lettuce

Click here for information about fertilizing and watering lettuce

Click here to learn about harvesting lettuce

Click here for some of our favorite lettuce recipes

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