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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Campanulids
Ordo: Asterales

Familia: Asteraceae
Subfamilia: Cichorioideae
Tribus: Cichorieae
Subtribus: Crepidinae
Genus: Nabalus
Species: N. acerifolius – N. alatus – N. albus – N. altissimus – N. asper – N. autumnalis – N. barbatus – N. bootii – N. carrii – N. crepidineus – N. mainensis – N. muliensis – N. ochroleucus – N. racemosus – N. roanensis – N. sagittatus – N. serpentarius – N. tatarinowii – N. trifoliolatus
Source(s) of checklist:

Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Nabalus in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Nov 29. Reference page.


Nabalus Cass., Dict. Sci. Nat., ed. 2. [F. Cuvier] 34: 94. (1825)

Type species: Nabalus trifoliolatus Cass., Dict. Sci. Nat., ed. 2. [F. Cuvier] 34: 95. (1825)


Prenanthes subg. Nabalus (Cass.) Babc. & al. in Cytologia, Fujii Jubil. Vol.: 190. (1937)
Prenanthes sect. Nabalus (Cass.) Kitam. in Mem. Coll. Sci. Kyoto Imp. Univ., Ser. B, Biol. 23: 152. (1956)
Esopon Raf., Fl. Ludov.: 149. (1817)
Type: Esopon glaucum (Raf.) Raf.
Harpalyce D. Don in Edinburgh New Philos. J. 1829: 308. (1829) non Harpalyce DC. (1825) (Fabaceae)
Type: not designated
Nabalus sect. Acerifolii Sennikov in Novosti Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 32: 180. (2000)
Type: Nabalus acerifolius Maxim.
Nabalus sect. Altissimi Sennikov in Novosti Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 32: 179. (2000)
Type: Nabalus altissimus (L.) Hook.
Nabalus sect. Asperi Sennikov in Novosti Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 32: 179. (2000)
Type: Nabalus asper (Michx.) Torr. & A. Gray
Nabalus sect. Ochroleuci Sennikov in Novosti Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 32: 179. (2000)
Type: Nabalus ochroleucus Maxim.
Nabalus sect. Racemosi Sennikov in Novosti Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 32: 178. (2000)
Type: Nabalus racemosus (Michx.) Hook.
Nabalus sect. Sinoseris Sennikov in Novosti Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 32: 180. (2000)
Type: Nabalus tatarinowii (Maxim.) Nakai


Cassini, A.H.G. de 1825. Dictionnaire des Sciences Naturelles, dans lequel on traite méthodiquement des différens êtres de la nature, considérés soit en eux-mêmes, d'aprés l'état actuel de nos connoissances, soit relativement à l'utilité quén peuvent retirer la médecine, l'agriculture, le commerce et les arts, 34: 94.
Hassler, M. 2018. Nabalus. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2018. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 May 23. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2018. Nabalus. Published online. Accessed: May 23 2018.
Kilian N., Hand R. & Raab-Straube E. von (general editors) 2009+ (continuously updated). Nabalus in Cichorieae Systematics Portal. Accessed 2018 June 26.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2018. Nabalus in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 May 23. Reference page. 2018. Nabalus. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 May 23.
Weakley, A.S., LeBlond, R.J., Sorrie, B.A., Estes, D., Mathews, K.G., Witsell, T.C., Gandhi, K.N. & Ebihara, A. 2011. New combinations, rank changes, and nomenclatural and taxonomic comments in the vascular flora of The Southeastern United States. Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 5(2): 437–455. BHL ResearchGate Reference page. p.441

Vernacular names
English: White Lettuce

Nabalus is a genus of Asian and North American flowering plants in the dandelion tribe within the daisy family.[1][2]

Nabalus is now considered the correct name for a group of plants in North America that were formerly considered to be members of Prenanthes, and were included in that genus in the Flora of North America treatment.[3] Common names for the genus include "rattlesnake root" and "white lettuce." The latter reflects its close relationship to lettuce (Lactuca sativa) but having flowers that are whitish or purplish-white in some species. Many (perhaps all) of the species are monocarpic perennials, in which an individual plant may live for multiple years in a vegetative condition but then will die after flowering and fruiting.[4]

Natural History

White Lettuce is firmly identified with Common lettuce, Lactuca sativa. Lactuca sativa has its inceptions in the Middle East. Egyptian divider paintings of Min, the divine force of fruitfulness, portray lettuce in development in around 2700 B.C.[5] The erect plant like present day romaine, with a thick stem and smooth sap had sexual meanings. Min devoured lettuce as a consecrated nourishment for sexual stamina, and conventional Egyptians utilized the oil of the wild seeds for medication, cooking, and preservation . After some time, the Egyptians reared their wild-type lettuce to have leaves that were not so much harsh but rather more attractive. The developed plants were as yet tall and upstanding, with discrete leaves instead of heads.

The Greeks figured out how to develop lettuce from the Egyptians.[5] They utilized it restoratively as a narcotic and served it as a plate of mixed greens toward the start of dinners to help with assimilation. They likewise kept on developing it for more delectable leaves. In Greek folklore, Aphrodite's sweetheart Adonis was murdered in a bed of lettuce by a pig sent differently by Artemis, who was desirous of his chasing ability, or by Persephone, who was jealous of his fondness for Aphrodite, or by Ares, who was envious of Aphrodite.[5] Whoever the prompting god was, lettuce was related with male feebleness and demise, prompting its introduction at memorial services.

The Greeks passed their lettuce-developing information on to the Romans, who named the plant "lactuca," signifying "milk," for its white sap.[5] In time, "lactuca" turned into the English word "lettuce," while the Roman name was safeguarded in the family name for lettuce and its relatives.

Nabalus species include:[6][7][8]
Asian Nabalus species

Nabalus acerifolius Maxim. (1871) - Japan
Nabalus angustilobus (C.Shih) Sennikov (2000) - Sichuan
Nabalus faberi (Hemsl.) Sennikov (2000) - Guizhou, Sichuan
Nabalus leptanthus (C.Shih) Sennikov (2000) - Sichuan
Nabalus nipponicus Franch. & Sav. (1878) - Japan
Nabalus ochroleucus Maxim. (1871) - Primorye, Jilin, Korea, Japan
Nabalus pyramidalis (C.Shih) Sennikov (2000) - Sichuan
Nabalus racemiformis (C.Shih) Sennikov (2000) - Hebei
Nabalus tatarinowii (Maxim.) Nakai (1923) - China, Primorye, Korea

North American Nabalus species

Nabalus alatus Hook. (1833) - western rattlesnake root - AK BC ALB WA OR IDMT
Nabalus albus (L.) Hook. (1833) - white rattlesnake root - SAS MAN ONT QUE United States (Great Lakes, Northeast, Appalachians)
Nabalus altissimus (L.) Hook. (1833) - tall rattlesnake root - MAN ONT QUE NB NS United States (Northeast, Southeast, South-central)
Nabalus asper (Michx.) Torr. & A. Gray (1843) - rough rattlesnake root - United States (Great Plains, Mississippi Valley)
Nabalus autumnalis (Walter) Weakley (2011) - slender rattlesnake root - MS FL SC NC VA DE NJ
Nabalus barbatus (Torr. & A.Gray) A.Heller - barbed rattlesnake root - TX OK AR LA KY TN MS AL GA
Nabalus boottii DC. (1838) - Boott’s rattlesnake root - NY VT NH ME (possibly a synonym of Prenanthes boottii)[9]
Nabalus crepidineus (Michx.) DC. (1838) - nodding rattlesnake root - MN IA MO AR TN KY IL IN WI MI OH WV PA NY
Nabalus × mainensis (A.Gray) A.Heller [N. racemosus × trifoliolatus] - Maine rattlesnake root - NY QUE ME NS NB
Nabalus racemosus (Michx.) Hook (1833) - glaucous rattlesnake root - Canada, northern United States
Nabalus roanensis Chick. (1880) - Roan Mountain rattlesnake root - southern Appalachians (VA NC TN)
Nabalus sagittatus (A.Gray) Rydb. (1900) - arrow-leaf rattlesnake root - BC ALB ID MT
Nabalus serpentarius (Pursh) Hook. (1833) - lion's foot rattlesnake root - eastern United States (MS + FL to NH)
Nabalus trifoliolatus Cass. (1825) - three-leaved rattlesnake root - eastern North America (GA to ONT + LAB)


Cassini, Alexandre Henri Gabriel de. 1825. Dictionnaire des Sciences Naturelles [Second edition] 34: 94-100 in French
Tropicos, Nabalus Cass.
Flora of North America FNA Vol. 19, 20 and 21 Page 264 Rattlesnake root, cankerweed, gall-of-the-earth, Prenanthes Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 797. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 349. 1754.
Flora of China Vol. 20-21 Page 341 耳菊属 er ju shu Nabalus Cassini in F. Cuvier, Dict. Sci. Nat. 34: 94. 1825.
Fischer, Nan. "The History of Lettuce - Plant Profiles - Heirloom Gardner". Heirloom Gardener. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
Flann, C (ed) 2009+ Global Compositae Checklist
The Plant List search for Nabalus
Biota of North America Program 2013 county distribution maps
Compositae Working Group (CWG) (2021). Global Compositae Database. Prenanthes boottii (DC.) A.Gray. Accessed at: on 2021-05-23 treats Nabalus boottii (Torr. & A.Gray) DC. instead as Prenanthes boottii (DC.) A.Gray

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