CELTUCE, is a variety of lettuce cultivated for its fleshy edible stem. The stems, sometimes together with the young leaves, are served fresh as a salad green or cooked as a vegetable. The name “celtuce” was coined from “celery” and “lettuce” because the flavor of celtuce is similar to that of both lettuce and celery. However, celtuce is in no way related to celery. Celtuce, which is known technically as Lactuca sativa var. asparagina (or var. angustana), be-longs to the composite family (Compositae). Celery is a member of the parsley family (Um-belliferae).
Cultivated lettuces probably originated in Asia Minör from one of the native wild species. Since Roman times many different varieties have been developed, ineluding many leafy forms as well as celtuce. Like other forms of lettuce, celtuce is a fast-growing annual that matures in about 80 days. In hot weather it has a tendeney to bolt (form an elongated flowering stalk) and turn bitter.