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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Western Salsify Spring

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

First Goat's Beard (tragopogon dubius)

Goat Sans Beard (Western Salsify)

Western Salsify (tragopogon dubius)

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