Tops for reliability, even through a hot summer, is ‘Red Sails’. Another All-America Selections winner, it’s a fast grower with green and reddish-bronze leaves.
A 1998 introduction that did well for me was ‘Green Vision’, which produces dark-green, glossy, savoyed leaves; it is a slow bolter. ‘Lollo Rossa’ has light-green leaves with elegant rosy margins, while its cousin, ‘Lollo Biondo’, is pure pale-green. Both ‘Lollo’ cultivars are deeply curled and heat tolerant, and very decorative both in the garden and in salads.
Stepping beyond the looseleaf varieties, there are some butterheads and romaines I like to grow as cutting lettuces. They will also sprout new leaves, if less energetically than the looseleaf varieties.
Of the butterheads, ‘Ermosa’ has dark green leaves and stands up to a fair amount of summer heat. In a weak pre-spring moment I ordered seed for a romaine called ‘Freckles’ or ‘Trout Back’, simply because I liked its name. I wish all my weak moments worked out this well. It is a beautiful lettuce, lime-green flecked with wine-red markings, and has a fresh, delicate taste.
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