By David Marks
Butterhead lettuces have a distinctive open, almost flower petal, look to them and are the best looking of all the lettuces. Their texture is softer than other types of lettuce and they are making a comeback when compared to crisper types. The flavour is the sweetest of all

They are probably the easiest and most reliable for growing in the UK and certainly withstand cold conditions very well. Use them in fish salads such as salad nicoise, they are particularly good with all types salmon, avacado and citrus salads. Pick the outer leaves first and let the inner ones grow for more leaves.


All Year Round butterhead lettuce

All Year Round

– the classic butterhead variety. A full head of leaves with the central ones tightly packed. Great colour, taste and texture and as the name suggests, this variety can be grown from spring to late summer – even earlier and later if cloche protection is available.

Available from Seedaholic .



– details coming soon.

Arctic King butterhead lettuce

Arctic King

– one of the hardiest lettuces you will find. Best sown in the autumn and then harvested a few leaves at a time in spring.

Available from Arctic King.

Clarion butterhead lettuce


– Typical of the butterhead type of lettuce, Clarion can be sown from early spring throughout the summer. The leaves are light green, tasty and the plant overall has good disease resistance. Awarded an AGM by the RHS

Available from Buckingham Nurseries.

Diana butterhead lettuce


– an excellent choice for all summer cropping. Sow from late March right though to mid August and you will have tasty lettuce all summer through. Excellent resistance to bolting.

Available from Moles Seeds

Marvel of Four Seasons butterhead lettuce

Marvel of Four Seasons

– originating from France this variety dates back to before 1885. A superb splash of colour to the salad bowl, this variety will continue to grow for several months.

Widely available

Roxy lettuce


– All the attributes you would expect from this type of lettuce with the added bonus of very attractive bronze tips to each leaf.  Tastes good and brings life and interest to any salad. Awarded an RHS AGM.

Available from

Sangria butterhead lettuce


– Taste and texture are good as well as excellent resistance to bolting. The colour of this variety is very unusual going from green to a flushed purply-red. Awarded an RHS AGM.

Available from D. T. Brown.

Butterhead lettuce Tom Thumb

Tom Thumb

– dating back to the early 1800s this ever popular butterhead variety well deserves its place in every garden and allotment. It stands cold well and is ideally suited to being started off under cloches or cover for an extra early crop.
This is a small variety which can be harvested as individual heads or a few leaves at a time. Excellent disease resistance as you would expect from such a long-lived variety. Fast to mature this will be one of the first lettuces on your plate in spring!
Available from