Cicerbita Wallr.

(incl. Mycelis Cass.)

The generic circumscription of Cicerbita has changed a lot in recent times. Greuter (2003), followed by Mabberley (2008), included it in a broadened genus Lactuca L. The latter thus became a genus of ca. 130 species and included, among others, the genera Cicerbita, Mulgedium Cass. and Mycelis Cass. However, more recent studies (see Cichorieae portal) tend to accept Cicerbita (incl. Mulgedium and Mycelis) as a genus apart from Lactuca. This taxonomy is followed here as well. In this circumscription it counts ca. 20-30 species, including native Cicerbita muralis (L.) Wallr. (syn.: Lactuca muralis (L.) Gaertn., Mycelis muralis (L.) Dum.).

A few species of Cicerbita are tall attractive perennials and popular in cultivation (Richardson 2000, Jäger & al. 2008).

Additional information on the taxonomy of Cicerbita (and Cichorieae as a whole) is available here:

  • Ligules bluish (mauve to violet). Achenes beakless. Phyllaries in several rows. Inflorescence glandular hairy. Plant robust, (50-) 100-300(-350) cm tall === Cicerbita macrophylla
  • Ligules yellow. Achenes shortly beaked (beak up to ½ as long as body). Phyllaries in two very unequal rows (the outer very small). Plant usually entirely glabrous, glandular hairs always absent. Plant 20-100 cm tall, rarely more (native) === C. muralis


Beauverd G. (1910) Contribution à l’étude des Composées: le genre Cicerbita. Bull. Soc. Bot. Genève ser. 2, 2: 99-145.

Greuter W. (2003) The Euro+Med treatment of Cichorieae (Compositae) – generic concepts and required new names. Willdenowia 33: 229-238.

Jäger E.J., Ebel F., Hanelt P. & Müller G. (eds.) (2008) Rothmaler Band 5. Exkursionsflora von Deutschland. Krautige Zier- und Nutzpflanzen. Springer Verlag, Berlin: 880 p.

Lambinon J., Delvosalle L., Duvigneaud J. (avec coll. Geerinck D., Lebeau J., Schumacker R. & Vannerom H.) (2004) Nouvelle Flore de la Belgique, du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, du Nord de la France et des Régions voisines (Ptéridophytes et Spermatophytes). Cinquième édition. Jardin botanique national de Belgique, Meise: CXXX + 1167 p.

Mabberley D.J. (2008) Mabberley’s plant-book (3th ed.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: XVIII + 1021 p.

Richardson J.E. (2000) Cicerbita. In: Cullen J. & al. (eds.), The European Garden Flora, vol. 6. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 538-539.

Sell P.D. (1986) The genus Cicerbita Wallr. in the British Isles. Watsonia 16: 121-129.

Sell P. & Murrell G. (2006) Flora of Great Britain and Ireland. Vol. 4 Campanulaceae – Asteraceae. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: XXVIII + 624 p.

Shih C. (1991) On circumscription of the genus Cicerbita Wall., and two new genera of Compositae from the Sino-Himalayan region. (in Chinese). Acta Phytotax. Sin. 29(5): 394-417.

Stace C. (2010) New flora of the British Isles, 3th ed.: XXXII + 1232 p. Cambridge University Press.


Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith