The following types of leafy greens are described on this page. Click on any type to go directly to the portion of the page that contains the information on that leafy green.

arugula

butterhead lettuce

cabbage

chard

chicory

escarole

iceberg lettuce

kale

green leaf lettuce

red leaf lettuce

radicchio

romaine lettuce

spinach

Arugula

Arugula

Eruca vesicaria subsp. sativaAlso known as rugola or rocket lettuce.  Originating from the Mediterranean, it forms a rosette of deeply lobed leaves (four to ten small lateral lobes and a large terminal lobe).  Growth is low and compact (20–100 cm or 8–39 in in height).  Tastes more peppery than bitter. 

(picture downloaded from the "flickr" web site and may be credited to Farmer_Jay's photostream.)

 

Butterhead lettuce

Arugula

A type of head lettuce whose botanical name is Lactuca sativa var. heirloom.  Two common types are Boston and bibb lettuce.  Have small, round, loosely formed heads with soft, buttery-textured leaves ranging from pale green on the outer leaves to pale yellow-green on the inner leaves.  Bibb is the more expensive of the two and is usually sold in a plastic container to protect the delicate leaves. 

(picture downloaded from the "flickr" web site and may be credited to photofarmer's photostream.)

 

Cabbage

Arugula

Brassica oleracea.  Characterized by a short stem upon which is crowded a mass of leaves, usually green but in some varieties red or purplish.  At harvest, forms a characteristic compact, globular cluster – cabbage head.  Cabbage leaves often have a delicate, powdery, waxy coating called bloom. The occasionally sharp or bitter taste of cabbage is due to glucosinolate(s).

(picture downloaded from the "flickr" web site and may be credited to keepps's photostream.)

 

chard

Arugula

Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima.  Also known as Swiss chard.  Has shiny green ribbed leaves, with stems that range from white to yellow to red, depending on the cultivar. It has a slightly bitter taste.  Chard can be harvested while the leaves are young and tender, or after maturity, when they are larger and have slightly tougher stems. Raw chard is extremely perishable.

(picture downloaded from the "flickr" web site and may be credited to Steve'sworldofphotos' photostream.)

 

chicory

Arugula

Cichorium endivia var crispum.  Also known as frisée.  Have narrow, curled leaves tinged with yellow and green that are slightly bitter in taste.  Crunchy stem adds texture.  Coloring is a result of the producer shielding them from light during the growing process.  

(picture downloaded from the "flickr" web site and may be credited to Indirect Heat's' photostream.)

 

Escarole

Escarole

Cichorium endivia.  Also known as broad-leaved endive (var latifolia).  In the chicory family.  Looks like lettuce but has broad-leaved, pale green leaves that are slightly bitter.

(picture downloaded from the "flickr" web site and may be credited to Fort Green CSA's photostream.)

 

iceberg lettuce

Arugula

A type of head lettuce whose botanical name is Lactuca sativa var. capitata.  Got its common name from the fact that California growers shipped it covered with heaps of crushed ice in the 1920s.  Also known as crisphead lettuce with a solid head of tightly wrapped leaves.  Crisp, succulent, and wilt-resistant, it has a rather neutral watery flavor.

(picture downloaded from the "flickr" web site and may be credited to sleepyneko's photostream.)

 

kale

Arugula

Brassica oleracea is a form of cabbage  whose leaf colors range from light green through green, dark green and violet-green to violet-brown and the central leaves do not form a head.  One may differentiate between varieties according to the low, intermediate, or high length of the stem. 

(picture downloaded from the "flickr" web site and may be credited to oceandesetoiles' photostream.)

 

leaf lettuce, green

Arugula

Lactuca sativa var. crispa has broad, curly leaf varieties with a delicate flavor and a mildly crispy texture. This group includes oak leaf and lollo rosso lettuces  The shape of this looseleaf  lettuce leaves are similar to that of the oak tree. 

(picture downloaded from the "flickr" web site and may be credited to Seahill's photostream.)

 

leaf lettuce, red

Red leaf lettuce

Similar to the green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce will have fairly large, loose heads and thick, 'crumpled' leaves. Leaf color, however, will be medium to dark-red in color.

(picture downloaded from the "flickr" web site and may be credited to Vilseskogen's photostream.)

 

radicchio

Arugula

Cichorium intybus.  Also known as Italian chicory.  It is grown as a leaf vegetable which usually has white-veined red leaves. It has a bitter and spicy taste.  In the United States, it is gaining in popularity where it is more often eaten raw in salads.

(picture downloaded from the "flickr" web site and may be credited to topquark22's photostream.)

 

romaine lettuce

Arugula

Lactuca sativa var. romana.  Also known as cos lettuce.  It is a large leafy lettuce that is stiffer than most.  A thick center rib gives it a real crunch but the rib also gives the lettuce a slight bitter taste.  Unlike most lettuces, it is tolerant of heat. 

(picture downloaded from the "flickr" web site and may be credited to SummerTomato's photostream.)

 

spinach

Arugula

Spinacia oleracea The leaves are alternate, simple, ovate to triangular-based, very variable in size from about 2–30 cm long and 1–15 cm broad, with larger leaves at the base of the plant and small leaves higher on the flowering stem.  There are three basic types of spinach:

  • Savoy has dark green, crinkly and curly leaves.
  • Flat/smooth leaf spinach has broad smooth leaves that are easier to clean than savoy. This type is often grown for canned and frozen spinach.
  • Semi-savoy is a hybrid variety with slightly crinkled leaves. It has the same texture as savoy, but it is not as difficult to clean. It is grown for both fresh market and processing.
(picture downloaded from the "flickr" web site and may be credited to meganpru's photostream.)