Varigata di Castelfranco, organic

Eco Heirloom variety


Is a very beautiful lettuce from Italy, much appreciated at least since the 1700s. The leaves are spotted with deeply wine-red spots from the outer clear green to the inner cream-yellow leaves in the loosely knit head. They are sweetly bitter and brighten up the tamest salad. Castelfranco is easy to grow, sound and hardy and can remain ready for harvest far into late autumn. The roots can be force-grown as root-chicory. A portion contains about 100 seeds.


Product number:4015
Scientific name:Cichorium intybus var. foliosum
Botanic family:The Sunflower Family - Asteraceae
Days to maturity:80
F1 Hybrid:No
New variety:No
Sowing time:Pre-cultivate: April–May/Direct sow: June
Sowing depth:1 cm
Germination time:6–10 days
Plant spacing:20–30 cm
Row spacing:40–50 cm
Height:30 cm
Plant location:Sun–Half shade
Seeds/g:500 seeds
Heirloom variety:Yes

Cultivation advice


Sow 1 cm deep, when the soil has warmed up to at least 10°C. The risk of bolters from the plant grows when the soil is too cold.  


Thin out to 20-30 cm between the plants and 40-50 cm between the rows.


Lettuce-chicory is cultivated because of the leaves and heads and can be harvested far into autumn. The root- or forced chicory yields a strong pole-root for forcing during winter. It can be dried, toasted and ground for coffee surrogate, which is very common on the continent.
Roots for forcing are harvested late. Cut off the tops a few cm above the neck of the root, trim and shorten to 15-20 cm. Let them dry a little before storing in the same way as carrots. To force-grow pack them close together in a deep box or bucket with soil, moist sawdust or peat. If the space they are in is absolutely dark there is no need to cover, but the best crop comes from covering the roots with a 20 cm thick layer of dry sawdust or peat. Keep the box in darkness at a temperature of 15-20°C. After 4-6 weeks yellow-white, crisp heads can be harvested. If lighted they turn green and bitter.


About 500 seeds/g, one portion sows at least 5 m and 7-10 g sows 100 m.
A portion contains about 100 seeds.