Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Nabalus alatus
western white lettuce, western rattlesnakeroot

Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest and east in the Columbia River Gorge in Washington; Alaska to Oregon, east to Alberta, Idaho, and Montana.

Habitat: Streambanks, forest edge, and moist, shaded places from the lowlands to middle elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: July-September

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Single-stemmed perennial with milky juice, the stem 1.5-8 dm. tall, with fine, woolly hairs in the inflorescence, otherwise glabrous.


Leaves alternate, thin, the lower petiolate, the petiole often wing-margined, the blade deltoid to sagittate, irregularly toothed, up to 12 cm. long and 11 cm. wide; upper leaves reduced and narrower, tapering to a sessile or short-petioled base.


Inflorescence open and flat-topped, with several heads; heads 10- to 15-flowered, the corollas all ligulate, white or purplish; involucre 10-13 mm. high, with about 8 principlal bracts; pappus of numerous, off-white, capillary bristles.


Achenes elongate, cylindrical, glabrous.

Accepted Name:
Nabalus alatus Hook.
Publication: Fl. Bor. -Amer. 1: 294, plate 102. 1833.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Prenanthes alata (Hook.) D. Dietr. [FNA19, HC]
Prenanthes lessingii Hultén
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Nabalus alatus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Nabalus alatus checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Nabalus alatus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Nabalus alatus photos.

USDA Plants: Nabalus alatus information.

32 photographs:
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