Tom Thumb Lettuce


A miniature butterhead type lettuce that grows only to the size of a tennis ball. A very old variety that was first introduced in 1830. The crumpled leaves are yellow, and creamy in flavor.


Translations: Tom Thumb salāti, Tom Thumb Salotos, Tom Degeţel Salată, Tom Thumb salata, Tom Thumb Rau diếp, Tom Thumb sałata, Klein Duimpje Sla, टॉम अँगूठा लेटिष, Tom Thumb Alface, Пальчик Салаты, Tom Thumb Μαρούλι, توم الإبهام خس, 톰 엄지손가락 상추, Paleček Salát, Tom Thumb Selada, Tom Thumb litsugas, 汤姆拇指生菜, Tom Thumb Enciam, Tom Thumb Solata, Paleček Šalát, Pollicino Lattuga, טום חסה Thumb, Tom Thumb Sallat, Том Тхумб Зелена салата, トムサムレタス, Laitue Petit Poucet, Tom Thumb Kopfsalat, Tommeliden Salat, Tom Thumb Salat, Tom Thumb Lechuga, Пальчик Салати, Tom Thumb Salaatit, Том Thumb маруля

Physical Description

Tom Thumb Lettuce grows to the approximate size of a baseball. The outer leaves are crinkly and a deep green in color, while the inner leaves are much lighter in color and creamier in flavor.

Colors: Deep green exterior with lighter green/ yellow interior

Tasting Notes

Flavors: Sweet, mild
Mouthfeel: Tender, Soft, Fleshy
Food complements: Cherry tomatoes, Sliced onions, Sunflower seeds, Sliced olives, Olive oil, Balsamic vinegar
Beverage complements: Water, Iced tea, Lemonade
Substitutes: Butter lettuce

Selecting and Buying

Choosing: Choose heads without wilting, brown spots, or excessive holes in the leaves. The leaves should hold together firmly.
Buying: This lettuce is frequently grown by home gardeners and may also be seen and local farmer's markets. It is more difficult to find in large supermarket chains.
Procuring: This lettuce is beloved of home gardeners as it is quite hearty, and the individual heads are the perfect size for individual salads. The leaves stand up very well to heat and humidity. Tom Thumb Lettuce grows best in soil with a pH of 6-7. Seed should be sown in early spring; they may be started indoors and should be planted 1/8" deep and with 6 inches of space in all directions. The plants benefit from partial shade This lettuce may be planted in cycles two weeks apart to ensure continuous harvesting throughout the growing season, which extends into fall.

Preparation and Use

Cleaning: The leaves should be washed thoroughly to remove any traces of sand or dirt. Hand- tear the leaves or coarsely chop with a knife, then rinse in water and either spin-dry in a salad spinner or gently pat dry with paper towels.

Conserving and Storing

May be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days, but best used within one day of purchase or harvest to retain maximum crispness and flavor.



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