Walworth Lettuce Trials and London Freedom Seed Saving Project
VarietyDescriptionSeed Supplied byGermination rateSurviving after snail damage 24/04Selected for planting outBolting dateTasting ScoresAggregate tasting score (20)Vigour & Resilience score (20)Selected for seed saving
1Webb's WonderfulThis popular Iceberg lettuce remains the premier garden variety in many people's vegetable patches. Lettuce 'Webbs Wonderful' has large, wrinkled leaves with a crisp, white heart. An outstanding variety that is slow to bolt, and performs reliably whether the summer is wet or dry. Height: 20cm (8"). Spread: 30cm (12").Carter's15%---
2SaladinLettuce Saladin is the standard iceberg lettuce variety, producing fairly dense, large dark green heads. This iceberg lettuce had very good holding ability, and is highly recommended. Harvesting time will depend on sowing time, the time from sowing to harvesting is longer than as with other type due to being a bigger lettuceMr Fothergill's50%25%Y333211
3Lobjoits Green CosOne of the best varieties of lettuce of all time first grown by the old codger (Jeremy Shirley) in the 1950's. An excellent variety that produces deep green crunchy hearts of excellent flavour and self folding leaves. Slow to bolt as well. Can be direct sown throughout the year to produce a succession of lettuce. For Autumn sowing and over-winter growing under protection, producing early Spring crops, this is one of the most reliable varieties. In recent years we have even grown them outside throughout the Winter despite frost and light snow. Mr Fothergill's95%95%Y244414
4LakelandCrisp and crunchy 'iceberg'. Ideal for the British climate, large, tight, heavy dark green heads and few outer leaves.Mr Fothergill's95%--
5LettonyWhen more than three quarters of over 700 gardeners who tried it say they liked the taste and the texture, and just under three quarters say they’d grow it again, you know you’re on to something. That was the result of a trial of ‘Lettony’ lettuce done last year by readers of Which? Gardening. ‘Lettony’ is a new dual purpose lettuce that be grown for either its baby leaves or its attractive curly mature heads. It doesn’t make a tight heart, but instead develops a loose head then can be cut at any point in its growth, although leaving it to mature of course produces the most useable salads. Colin Randel, Vegetable Product Manager at Thompson & Morgan, who are introducing ‘Lettony’, told me: “'Lettony’ is easy and reliable to grow, has good bolting resistance, performs in any soil and stands against all weathers; basically a reliable garden performer. The leaves have a fresh green colour, much reduced bitterness, and are strong against tipburn and downy mildew. “A gardener can grow a typical full size plant with similar maturity period to ‘Salad Bowl’ in about 80 days during summer, or as a “salad leaf” in about 25 days, or as midi sized plants in 50 days. ‘Lettony’ is most suited to our traditional sowing times of late March to late July outdoors, but cloche/fleecing will extend the season, and ‘Lettony’ can be sown as a salad leaf virtually all year round under glass.” Thompson & Morgan95%50%Y555520
6Reine des GlacesReigning supreme among crispheads, this French heirloom, literally meaning the 'Queen of the Ice', thrives in cold conditions, and is thus ideal for early spring sowing, remaining crisp and resisting bolting when things warm up. Lacy leaves with serrated edges gently caress the lighter green, sweet, succulent heart which has a crunchy texture and distinctive mild bitter taste, making it a favourite amongst chefs. Johnsons95%90%Y344314
7Marvel of Four SeasonsMarvel of Four Seasons is a butter-head lettuce that is a true delight. As tasty as it is beautiful, and it is a truly beautiful lettuce.
Also known as Merveille des Quatre Saisons this French butter-head lettuce is famous for its signature butter-head shape boasting the appearance of a bibb-type rosette with an array of beautiful colours ranging in bronze, gold, red and green. Revealing ruby toned leaves that encompass tightly folded green hearts.

With its ability to be harvested in extended seasons the “four seasons” will thrive in a range of climates. This vigorous plant is very easy to grow and matures in 60 days. Its dark colour develops on cooler spring or autumn weather, but its texture always remains crisp and its taste unforgettable.

This pre-1885 French heirloom has been lovingly cultivated in kitchen gardens for centuries. It was featured in Vilmorin’s 1885 book The Vegetable Garden, where it was listed as the most “highly coloured of all the Lettuces grown about Paris.” It has also been found carrying the names of 'Continuity', 'Little Red Riding Hood' and 'Besson Rouge'.
8Lollo RossoA non-hearting Italian lettuce of excellent flavour. This superb RHS AGM variety produces compact, loose heads of finely frilled leaves with colourful crimson edges. A particularly popular variety with supermarkets and restaurants, Lettuce 'Lollo Rossa' makes an attractive garnish and adds colour and texture to the salad bowl. Height: 15cm (6"). Spread: 25cm (10"). 50%5%-
9CatalognaA highly ornamental Oakleaf variety which produces masses of deeply lobed leaves which are perfect for baby leaf salads. The thick leaves have good flavour and texture and the compact plants will grow easily in a pot as well as in the garden. Oakleaf Lettuce was first described way back in 1686 and has remained popular among gardeners ever since due to its tasty oak-leaf shaped, green leaves. This variety tolerates heat very well, but also excels in cooler climates.Lettuce 'Catalogna Cerbiatta' has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM).Mr Fothergill's100%100%Y343414
10MottistoneMottistone is a Batavia type, as sometimes referred to as 'summer crisp' lettuces for their densely packed hearts and ability to resist bolting in the heat of the season. This gorgeously mottled selection delivers on that promise, providing select harvests of crisp outer leaves before forming its sweet, succulent heads for loads of extended food value. Maroon speckles adorn the healthy, disease resistant, deep green plants, setting Mottistone apart within its class.Suttons90%60%Y
11RoxyThis voluminous red butterhead lettuce has slightly blistered leaves, an attractive, shiny color and tender, sweet flavor. Well adapted for spring, summer and fall, Roxy holds in the garden for a long time and is one of the most popular varieties in the organic gardening community. MoreVeg/25%0%-
12CimmaronCimmaron is a big, deep-red heirloom dating back to the 1700s. Heads grow 26-30cm (10-12″) tall! Individual leaves are easy to pick and hold well in salads. Plant Cimmaron romaine lettuce seeds at two to three week intervals from March to August, as some will hold in the garden through a mild winter. The baby leaves look wonderful in salads and the deep red colour is accompanied by superb flavour and crisp, tender texture. There’s a reason this lettuce has been around for centuries – it is a reliable, high quality workhorse that is virtually impervious to bolting. MoreVeg95%85%Y444416
13Bronze Mignonette60 days. Excellent for hot and tropical weather; slow to bolt; frilled leaves and bronze-green heads. A superb type for the hot parts of the country, this heirloom was introduced in 1898. MoreVeg0%--
14Red Oak LeafTrue to its name, the individual leaves of oakleaf lettuce are deeply lobed and shaped like the leaves of oak trees. While generally grown as a leaf lettuce and picked at baby-leaf stage, oakleaf lettuces can also be grown for full-size heads.  MoreVeg90%25%-
15Red Deer TongueAn old Amish heirloom lettuce like regular deer tongue. Long pointed leaves, edged in red and triangular in shape.  Great texture and rich nutty flavor. Very late bolting type. Very productive and known for its ruggedness. Widely adaptable.  Moreveg85%50%Y
16New Red FireThis prizehead leafy lettuce is a non heading type with exceptionally large leaves. Commercial growers like it for its uniformity, color and excellent resistance to bolting and disease. The market-quality, large, loose heads are green at the base and dark red at the ruffled leaf edges. This variety has strong heat and moderate cold tolerance. It is suitable both for cool and warm conditions and retains its crisp fresh flavor through the growing season. Moreveg85%50%Y334212
17WestonGood Winter Lettuce for Polytunel use. Sow mid Oct and plant plugs out mid NOv. Or can be used at normal sowing timesLondon Freedom Seed Bank95%90%Y322411
18White Seeded SamaraSeed saved by Alice Clack, W11. Apple green leaf lettuce tinged with pink. A little like a butterhead but with more open heads. Flavor and texture is great. Best as a spring, fall or winter lettuce. Survives cold, wet weather exceptionally well and may even survive deep into the winter. Probably originates near Samara, a Russian city on the Volga River. London Freedom Seed Bank60%60%Y
19Bloody WarriorAn ex-commercial variety donated by M Ward in 2007. Cos-type with sweet, crisp, green leaves speckled with red. Our donor suggests planting out in autumn and over-wintering with protection; the lettuces will heart up for early summer harvesting. Heritage Seed Library10%5%Y
20SoulieDonated by Dilys Skilleter, whose sister acquired seed from Luc Soulie of Tarn, southern France. This variety has been, and still is, saved by generations of the Soulie family. A cos lettuce, upright with red-tinged, fairly loose leaves. Surprisingly crisp with a pleasant sweet flavour. Reluctant to run to seed. Heritage Seed Library100%95%Y544518
21Loos Tennis Ball55 days. Rather loose heads are petite, 6-8 inches in diameter, Bibb or Butterhead type. This variety is documented to have been grown at Monticello by Thos. Jefferson, who noted: “it does not require so much care and attention” as other types. The Heritage Seed Library85%50%Y23/6
22Black Seeded SimpsonBlack Seeded Simpson was one of the first lettuce varieties to be deemed an 'heirloom' in the middle years of the 19th century. This looseleaf variety is also one of the fastest lettuces to maturity, completing its growth cycle within 45-60 days. Baby greens can be harvested in less than a month after germination in many growing environments. Black Seeded Simpson is also one of the more durable greens, and will show good resistance to heat, cold, infestation and other potential problems. The light-green leaves are especially juicy, and are suitable for salad and other dishes. Space plants 6" apart, with 12" between rows. MoreVeg40%2%-
23Bloody CosPhiladelphia seedsman, Bernard McMahon, sold this 18th-century Romaine lettuce in 1804. The leaves are speckled with a bright reddish-brown variegation that is highly ornamental. Spotted Aleppo is best sowed in very early spring, or in late summer for a fall and winter crop. Sow seed directly in good garden soil in a sunny exposure, and thin seedlings to 8" to make room for the large, loose heads. 43 days to maturity. 
Monticello (Thomas Jefferson Foundation)
24Brown DutchBrown Dutch was the most frequently planted of the approximately seventeen lettuce varieties documented by Thomas Jefferson in the kitchen garden at Monticello. Seed was sowed twenty-seven time between 1809 and 1824, primarily in the fall for a winter harvest. Mentioned as early as 1731 by British botanist Stephen Switzer, Brown Dutch is a loose-headed variety with large, floppy, blistered outer leaves that are tinged reddish-brown. Brown Dutch is best sowed in very early spring, or in late summer for a fall and winter crop.
Monticello (Thomas Jefferson Foundation)
25Flashy Trout BackDerived from the variable cos heirloom ‘Forellenschluse’ (Austrian for “speckled like a trout’s back,” aka ‘Freckles’ in some catalogs) and it has received rave ratings from past trial seasons. ‘Flashy Trout Back’ is uniformly and densely splattered with bright red splashes on a medium green background. Blanched hearts of mature plants look like ‘Castlefranco’ chicory. Upright growth, unique early coloring, and crisp texture make this a prime candidate for baby cut salad. Farm Original Variety! OSSI (Open Source Seed Initiative) Pledged Variety. “Can stand summer heat better than some” Wild Garden Seed90%80%Y323311
26Flashy Butter Gem70 days. Nearly full-sized Romaine type dappled in a lovely, deep crimson. Another “Flashy” introduction from Frank Morton, Shoulder to Shoulder Farm, this one is a high yielder, and also makes a great early baby Romaine. Very tender and delicious! Wild Garden Seed85%80%-
27Flashy Butter Oak55 days. Here’s a newer lettuce introduction that combines crimson-red splashes with the leaf form of apple-green oak-leaf lettuce, and a butter-cos lettuce habit! It might sound mixed up but that’s a good thing because “Flashy Butter Oak” combines superior taste, texture and form—truly at the forefront of today’s open-pollinated breeding. This versatile variety excels equally whether harvested as baby greens, baby heads or at full maturity. The texture is silky, the taste is mild, juicy and sweet. A Frank Morton innovation.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
28Flashy LightningThis stuff is hot and in a hurry. A quick heading butter with compact dark green oak leaves, flashy-splashed with dark red, that becomes a beautiful pink in the big blanched heart. First flashes into a unique mini-head, then folds into a dense butter-heart before bolting. A unique blast of lettuce traits. Teen-rated very low on bitterness. Wild Garden Seed95%90%Y334414
29JesterOK--this is it. This is my favorite lettuce of all time. Not quite perfect yet, but this triple cross between Reine d’ Glaces, Merlot, and Flashy Troutback has most of what I love in lettuce. Crisp as ice, glossy, juicy as an apple, perfectly proportioned for a plate or a sandwich, flashy red spackles on semi-savoyed leaves with crazy-crisped margins like a Jester's attire. Slow bolting in any season, this crispleaf type can be harvested at the open head stage, or later as a semi-tight pink-hearted blanched head. Farm Original Variety! OSSI (Open Source Seed Initiative) Pledged Variety. Wild Garden Seed95%95%Y543517
30Mayan JaguarThe bigger framed cos of these two spotted cats. Dark red splashes are in high contrast over dark green ruffled leaves, wrapped into a tight upright head, with that bone crusher romaine crunch. The blushed hearts are pink as rose petals. This is a unique and beautiful romaine fountain of lettuce. Farm Original Variety! OSSI (Open Source Seed Initiative) Pledged Variety. Wild Garden Seed95%80%-