Yellow Salsify

Yellow salsify (Tragopogon dubius) is a weedy plant belonging to the Sunflower Family. Introduced from Eurasia, yellow salsify grows in relatively dry waste areas, roadsides and fields. The bright yellow flower heads are composed entirely of bisexual ligulate flowers (a ray flower with a five toothed strap-shaped corolla) and occur singly at the end of the stem. The peduncle (flower stalk) widens at the base of the flower. Salsify leaves are grasslike. The phyllaries (bracts surrounding the flowers) extend beyond the ligules. Arising from a taproot that supposedly tastes like an oyster, hence another common name, oysterplant, the stem exudes a milky juice when cut. Although edible, I find the yellow salsify root to be fibrous and bitter. This yellow salsify was growing in the Dan Ryan Meadow along Ash Creek (Lassen County CA).

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