Like the carrot ‘Giant of Tilques’ or the tomato ‘Blanche de Picardie’, the lettuce ‘Lilloise’ is an old vegetable variety from the Nord pas de Calais region that almost completely disappeared in the second half of the 20th century. Lettuce ‘Lilloise’ is a buttercup variety that, as the name suggests, originates from Lille. Known for its voluminous head and especially its finesse, it is ideal for spring and autumn production. This ancient variety from the late 1800s is perfectly adapted to the climate of the Nord region, it was also very successful in the 1960s, where it was widely cultivated by gardeners in the Nord Pas de Calais, before gradually becoming was abandoned in the 1970s and 1980s in favor of hybrid varieties. Recently brought out of obscurity, it is gradually finding a well-deserved place in our vegetable gardens.
How do you store ‘Lilloise’ in the vegetable garden?
For cultivation, this variety is sown in place from March to July at the rate of 2 to 3 seeds every 30 cm, or in a bucket to be transplanted after about 4 to 6 weeks. They are then harvested 4 to 7 weeks later. For the little anecdote, in a French horticultural magazine from 1962, we learn that the lettuce variety ‘Lilloise’ was traditionally sown on July 14 for a harvest between early and mid-September. Like other lettuce varieties, it likes sunny or semi-shady places, as well as humus-rich, cool and well-drained soil. If the soil in your vegetable garden is too heavy, you can add sand, for example.
Other Ch’ti Vegetable Varieties to Rediscover!
To honor the rich vegetable heritage of Nord-Pas-de-Calais, we have designed the “Potager Ch’ti” box with an assortment of seeds that invites you to discover authentic regional varieties from Northern France, ancient and often forgotten. This box is also an excellent gift idea for a gardener who loves vegetables and the country. The range includes 10 bags of organic and reproducible seeds of good ch’ti old local vegetables and traditional vegetable plants from the region. Check out the details of the box!
As a landscape architect and geographer by training, I am passionate about the plant world and its countless curiosities. Founder of the Rexania blog and activist for gardening in harmony with nature, I am also an Alsatian gardener, ardent defender of ancient, free and reproducible varieties.