Forellenschluss Lettuce


From Fedco: “Forellenschluss Lettuce (56 days) Also known as Freckles or Trout Back. . . . an absolutely gorgeous romaine with the delicate taste and texture of a butterhead. . . . Deep green leaves flecked with wine-red splotches” (Photo by Cadence Purdy)

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.

~Adrian Higgins in The Washington Post, November 6, 2013

6 Comments… add one

Jennifer November 14, 2010, 7:29 pm

My little forellenschluss seedling did not make it through our fall after all. We had a week of warm weather shortly after I planted it, followed by some cool days again. After that quick change in temperature, it started to bolt. I’m looking forward to at least getting some seeds from it and planting them in the spring.

Victor November 14, 2010, 12:35 am

Correction on the description on this page. This lettuce variety is not a romaine or cos lettuce. It is a bibb or butterhead variety.

Jennifer October 18, 2010, 10:50 am

I live in Texas, too. I’ve just planted a seedling forellenschluss plant that I bought from our local Master Gardeners. I hope it gets as big and beautiful as the one in your photo. I’m planning to cut off some of the outer leaves as it grows, so we can use it in salads over a longer period of time. Hopefully, since I’m planting in a winter garden, it won’t have to face any extremely high temperatures. I think we’ll have plenty of mild days for it to grow for a couple months.

victoria bergin May 9, 2009, 6:43 pm

I live in Texas. I planted 5 forellenschluss plants because they looked so beautiful, even though “they” told me they needed a cooler climate. However, right now they are doing beautifully. I use them in a fresh salad…love their strong flavor. But I’m curious about they white milk that drips when I cut the leaves from the base. What is it? Also, since the leaves are thick, can I cook/braise them like swiss chard?

Kathy Purdy May 9, 2009, 7:37 pm

Up here in the north where it’s cooler, we consider the thick leaves and milky sap to be indications that the lettuce is under heat stress. What you call strong flavor, we would probably call bitter. You can certainly cook it like Swiss chard. Try sauteing some garlic in olive oil, add the chopped, washed greens and some chicken broth. I like to cook escarole that way.

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