Of European origin, this forb has spread across North America. To find it on the open prairie is a testament to its adaptability, since it prefers warm, sheltered spots with moist soils. The Western Salsify resembles a Prairie Dandelion and is also known as Goat’s Beard. Its fruit head develops into a giant, white puffball of plumed seeds. Livestock will graze on immature salsify. I cannot attest to the following from personal experience, but the roots are edible with a flavor of parsnip. And, the milky latex within the plant has been chewed as gum.
© Ilija Lukić 2011
|Western Salsify (tragopogon dubius)|