Mulgedium pulchellum (Pursh) G.Don (Pursh) Stebbins
blue lettuce
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jamie Fenneman     (Photo ID #29992)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Mulgedium pulchellum
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial herb from extensive rhizomes; stems erect, branched above, solitary, glabrous or glaucous, 0.2-1.2 m tall.
Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves alternate, linear to lanceolate or oblong, the lower ones 5-14 cm long, 6-35 mm wide, entire or more or less pinnately cut, rarely sharply toothed, stalked, the upper ones reduced, becoming entire, unstalked to somewhat clasping.
Heads with strap-shaped flowers, several to numerous in an elongate to rounded inflorescence; involucres 15-20 mm tall; involucral bracts narrowly egg-shaped, graduated, the outer shorter, often purplish; ray flowers blue or sometimes violet to blue, 18-50.
Achenes oblong-lanceolate, short-beaked, the beak equaling or less than 1/2 the length of the body, compressed, several-nerved on each face, glabrous, 6-7 mm long including the prominent beak, pale brown; pappus white.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Mulgedium pulchellum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
754 365 970
Slope Gradient (%)
18 0 70

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

101 38 315
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 2 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

BG(2), IDF(5), PP(2), SBS(2)

Habitat and Range

Moist to mesic meadows and shrublands in the steppe and montane zones; frequent throughout all but NW and SW BC; N to AK, YT and NT, E to ON, MN and MO and S to OR and CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Lactuca tatarica subsp. pulchella (L.) C.A. Mey.