Lactuca sativa ‘Marvel of Four Seasons’ / ‘Merveille des Quatre Saisons’ | ‘Lettuce’ | ~100 seeds
A tasty French heritage variety, (properly called ‘Merveille des Quatre Saisons’), Lactuca sativa ‘Marvel of Four Seasons’ is a delicious “butterhead” lettuce. Attractive, with green to red coloured leaves, this type is tenderly crunchy and is a reliable grower “all-year-round”.
Lactuca sativa – the ‘Common Garden Lettuce’, has been developed into many flavoursome varieties, of which ‘Webb’s Wonderful’ is a good example. Located within the family Asteraceae (and hence related to daisies), lettuce is not only a basic tool in every chef’s arsenal, but it has also been associated with sexual reproduction for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians used the plant as both a symbol of sexual prowess and to encourage fertility, the Romans believed it to increase potency and the Greeks associated it with impotency and death (often eating it at funerals). Hundreds of years later, during the 19th Century, many English women believed lettuce consumption to lead to infertility and sterility!
Moreover, various cultures have maintained that eating lettuce was a good treatment for ailments including aches and pains, cancer, coughs, insanity, rheumatism, smallpox, stress and typhoid – although so far no scientific basis for any of these claims has been published. The plant is eaten as part of the Jewish Passover Seder too, as the “bitter herb” of the ritual.
As with all Lactuca sativa varieties, this one is quite easy to grow from seed. Sow lettuce seeds approximately thirty centimetres apart in a mildly-acidic to mildly alkaline soil in full sun. Lightly cover the seeds with a fine layer of soil and try to maintain an ideal germination temperature of between 5-15 °C. This essential food species will grow anywhere from USDA Hardiness Zones 2-11, provided suitable conditions are provided.
All the seed sold by Arkham’s Botanical was freshly and ethically sourced