Lechuga oreja de mulo roja de Zahara

Crop: Lactuca sativa L. (Lettuce)

Landrace of the region of the Sierra de Cádiz, in the municipality of Zahara de la Sierra. It is considered a very old variety, although at present it is still cultivated by very few farmers.

The leaf is elliptical or obovate with rounded tips, as is common in mule ear lettuce landraces, but in this case, in addition to the green colour appear reddish tones. The raw leaves are consumed in a salad. 

It can be sown both in winter and in spring. Farmers recommend not to sow it too cold, because then it tends to rise to flower soon.

Cultivation System: ND.

Geographical Information

Country: Spain

It is grown in basic soil gardens, which are watered as needed.

Farmer(s) description:


Propagation system: Seed, self-pollination

Multiplication procedures and consequences on landrace diversity:

The seed is collected directly in a container, allowing the plant to dry without removing it from the ground. After harvesting, the seeds are cleaned to separate them from the dried plant remains.

Management plan existence:

The landrace management relies completely on farming activities in the area.

Added Values

Market - existing and novel:

Its cultivation is in regression, maintained by very few farmers for family consumption. The ‘Sociedad Cooperativa Andaluza La Verde’ (Cooperative Society of Andalucía) of Villamartín keeps it on the farm and sells seeds and buds.

Others (e.g. commercial/geographical brands or special traits):

It is a very popular lettuce, especially for its flavour and texture.

There are plant material samples stored at the CRF (National Center of Pant Genetic Resources). ID: NC086253.

Case study provided by Departamento de Biotecnología de la Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), València, Spain.

To the members of the Estació Experimental Agrària de Carcaixent in particular Mr. Josep Roselló Oltra, who provided seeds and lots of information on this landrace through the last five years.

  • Aljibe, R. (Seed Savers Network of Andalucía). Contributions to the file of ‘Lechuga oreja de mulo roja de Zahara’. In: CONECT-e. ‘Sharing Traditional Ecological Knowledge’, from www.conecte.es/index.php/es/variedades/209-lechuga-oreja-de-mulo-roja-de-zahara/imgs [Accessed in April 2019]. This work is licensed under a creative commons attribution 4.0 international license.
  • Carrascosa M., Soriano J., Sanz I., García-Muñoz, T. 2011. Guía de conocimiento sobre utilización y manejo tradicional ligadas a las variedades autóctonas. Vol. 1. Red Andaluza de Semillas, Sevilla.
  • Tardío, Javier; Pardo de Santayana, Manuel; Morales, Ramón; Molina, María & Aceituno, Laura (editores). 2018. Inventario español de conocimientos tradicionales relativos a la Biodiversidad Agrícola. Vol. 1. Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación. Madrid. 420 pp.