Tragopogon dubius Scop.
Tragopogon dubius Scop. ssp. major (Jacq.) Voll.
Tragopogon major Jacq.
Yellow Goatsbeard, Yellow Salsify, Western Salsify, Western Goat’s-beard, Wild Oysterplant, Yellow Goat’s Beard, Goat’s Beard, Goatsbeard, Common Salsify, Salsify
Yellow salsify is native to southern and central Europe and western Asia. It was introduced in the early 1900s to North America, where it has spread widely. In many areas it is considered an invasive. It grows almost anywhere there is ample sunlight and medium to dry conditions, though plants are usually scattered, not densely clustered.
Flowers: Flowers are 1½-2" (4-6 cm) in diameter, forming from tall, tapered, blue-green buds. Flowers open in the morning and close in the afternoon. They appear from late spring to early summer. Sharp, starlike green bracts appear behind the flowerhead, and are longer and more prominent than in other salsifies.
Fruits: Produces a round pappus (seedhead) up to 4" (10 cm) around, similar to dandelions. The seedhead is like a pincushion filled with of achenes, each ⅞-1½" (2.5-4 cm) long, equipped with its own tiny “pararchute.”
Edibility: Roots are technically edible, cooked or even raw, but the plant is not generally consumed. The roots are said to taste similar to oysters, hence the common name wild oysterplant.
Tragopogon dubius at Illinois Wildflowers
Tragopogon dubius on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site
Tragopogon dubius on Wikipedia
Tragopogon dubius on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database
Tragopogon dubius at Oregon State University
Tragopogon dubius at Minnesota Wildflowers
Tragopogon dubius on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network
Tragopogon dubius description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 20 Oct 2017.