Lettuce, Tennis Ball

  • Sale
  • Regular price $3.50

Quick facts

  • Rare variety
  • Slow Food Ark of Taste variety
  • Grown on Thomas Jefferson's Monticello
  • Heirloom, one of the oldest cultivated lettuces to be grown in the United States dating back to the 1700s

Lactuca sativa

Butterhead type lettuce famous for growing on Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. Loose heads measure 6” and were traditionally used for making fermented or pickled lettuce heads.  Early and quick producer. This is a rare, Slow Food Ark of Taste variety.  Black seeded lettuce.  

A bit of its story:  Thomas Jefferson wrote of this lettuce that "it does not require so much care and attention" as other lettuces.  

How to grow it: 

Germ Temp

Indoor Start

Germ Days

Frost Tolerant


Seed Depth

Plant/Row Spacing


3-5 w.

6-17 d.


Shade to Full



Direct sow up to 4 weeks before the average last frost. Harvest leaves young by cutting the whole plant. Plant successively every two weeks to keep you in young greens, or give them more space to mature and harvest the whole plant.

Seed specs:

Packet size: .1 oz~300 seeds

Slow Food ARK OF TASTE Variety:

For it's rich history and cultural significance, this lettuce has been chosen to board the Slow Food Ark of Taste.  The Slow Food Ark of Taste is where "culinary heritage meets biodiversity."  Varieties placed on the "ark" are those whose rich history and cultural significance is well documented, yet whose existence is threatened simply by the lack of people growing and perpetuating it.  Varieties of crops, like species of plants and animals, can (and do) go extinct from lack of habitat and unfavorable conditions. These varieties deserve preservation not just because they each have a great story, but because the futures of our evolving food crops depend on a rich well of genetic diversity with which they can continually adapt, and be adapted by plant breeders, to thrive in changing conditions.  In the case of our food crops, the unfavorable conditions leading to a decrease in diversity are many, but one we can immediately address is the decrease in the number of people growing these crops and saving these seeds. 

A small kitchen garden really can change the world!

Check out our Slow Food Ark of Taste Package, which includes this lettuce.