I found this lovely prickly lettuce growing outside my grandsons' school in Crystal. Prickly lettuce is on my "top 20" list and one that y'all might want to make a tincture of.
For more details about prickly lettuce uses, click here and/or do a simple online search. You'll be impressed! The plant itself is often overlooked and despised as a weed, as it spreads quite aggressively. But as with many of our weeds, it has much to offer us!
As far as timing goes, I would let these plants grow a bit more, but try to gather it before it goes into flower. When you gather it, note its milky sap - an indication of the great nervine that it is. If I find a good stand of it here in Northfield, I'll let y'all know. If you find a good spot, feel free to let us know!
Hope this photo helps with identifying prickly lettuce. Note the "prickles" along the back spine of the leaf. It is a soft prickle- won't hurt at all. But a great identifying feature of the plant.
Prickly lettuce is typically found quite easily in waste areas as well as when weeding a garden. The leaves and flowers are similar to other wild lettuces, so look for this prickly feature.