Lettuce Celtuce is also known as stem lettuce. It is mainly grown for its thick and tender stem, which has a celery like flavour. The leaves can be pulled from the stem as the plant grows and used in salads, or lightly cooked.
Originally from China where it is very popular. It is usually used in stir-fries, soups, eaten fresh or pickled.
Sow – Best February to April, can start late Aug/Sept also (cool climate).
Spacing – 15-20cm between plants, 30cm rows.
Celtuce has celery-like stalks and lettuce-like leaves, it looks rather like a COS lettuce on a stalk. A non-hearting relative of the lettuce, originating from southern China and was originally known as Chinese Lettuce or Asparagus Lettuce.
The inner stem has a celery like crunch, although the flavour is milder and more delicate and often compared to asparagus when cooked. The leaves can be used like spinach, eaten in salads while young and tender stage, wilted or cooked as the plant matures. Celtuce is fabulous used in stir-fries.
Like spinach, Celtuce is a cool weather crop with spring and autumn sowing recommended for best results. It is very easy to grow and can be treated like regular lettuce.
Indoor raised plants can be moved or transplanted into the garden from September/October with a little protection from heavy frosts. Autumn raised plants are easy to manage.
Celtuce seed does not germinate in high temperatures so if starting in summer keep very well watered and out of the hot sun.