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Yellow Salsify, Yellow Goatsbeard, Western Salsify, Wild Oysterplant - Tragopogon dubius


Family: Asteraceae Aster family Genus Common Name: Goatsbeard Native Status: Introduced
Tragopogon dubius - Yellow Salsify, Yellow Goatsbeard, Western Salsify, Wild Oysterplant. Found in 45 states all but Hawaii, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina Yellow Salsify is considered an invasive weed in many areas, although apparently with little negative economic impact. The taproot is edible, and is reported to be the reason it was imported into the United States. The reported flavor is reminiscent of oysters, giving it the Wild Oysterplant common name. It was grown in Thomas Jefferson's garden, although from what I can find it was a different Tragopogon species - T. porrifolius.

Found in:
AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

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Distribution of Tragopogon dubius in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 01 Aug 2014). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

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Site: Boise, Ada County, ID Date: 2010-June-06Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D60
The Yellow Salsify blossom is dandelion-like, and has only ray florets, which are yellow. The rays are subtended by green involucre bracts which are notably longer than the rays themselves. dsc_6773-trago
Tragopogon dubius

Site: Boise, Ada County, ID Date: 2010-June-19Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
The seedhead of Yellow Salsify is somewhat similar to that of the common dandelion, but much larger being up to 4 inches across. The pappus bristles are also tan rather than white.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Tragopogon dubius

Site: Boise, Ada County, ID Date: 2010-June-19Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
The seeds of Tragopogon dubius are brown, ribbed achenes.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Tragopogon dubius

Site: Boise, Ada County, ID Date: 2010-June-19Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
The tan pappus bristles of Yellow Salsify.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Tragopogon dubius

Site: Boise, Ada County, ID Date: 2010-June-05Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
The "dubius" species epithet is because the identification of the young plant is "doubtful" it looks like a grass.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Tragopogon dubius

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2014
Photographs Copyrighted by the named photographer