Tragopogon porrifolius

Botanical Name : Tragopogon porrifolius
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Tragopogon
Species: T. porrifolius
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Purple Goat’s Beard. Vegetable Oyster.
(French) Salsifis des prés.

Common Names :Purple or Common salsify, Oyster plant, Vegetable oyster, Jerusalem star,Goatsbeard or Simply salsify (although these last two names are also applied to other species, as well).

Habitat :Tragopogon porrifolius is   native to Mediterranean regions of Europe but introduced elsewhere, for example, into the British Isles (mainly in central and southern England), other parts of northern Europe, North America, and southern Africa and in Australia; in the United States it is now found growing wild in almost every state, including Hawaii, except in the extreme south-east.This plant is normally found near the sea and estuaries in S.E. England

Description:
Tragopogon porrifolius is a common biennial wildflower plant growing  to around 120 cm in height. As with other Tragopogon species, its stem is largely unbranched, and the leaves are somewhat grasslike. It exudes a milky juice from the stems.In the UK it flowers from June to September, but in warmer areas such as California it can be found in bloom from April. The flower head is about 5 cm across, and each is surrounded by green bracts which are longer than the petals (technically, the ligules of the ray flowers). The flowers are like that of Goatsbeard Tragopogon pratensis, but are larger and dull purple, 30-50mm across. The flowers are hermaphroditic, and pollination is by insects.

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The fruits are of the clock variety.The seeds ripen from July to September.

Cultivation:     
Succeeds in ordinary garden soils, including heavy clays. Plants do not grow well in stony soils. Prefers an open situation and a cool moist root run. Salsify is occasionally cultivated in the garden for its edible root, there are some named varieties. Grows well with mustard.

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Propagation:  
Seed – sow in situ as early in the year as possible, in March if weather conditions permit. Seed sowings often fail unless the soil is kept moist until the seedlings are growing well.

Edible Uses: 
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Root;  Seed;  Stem.

Root – raw or cooked. The young root can be grated in salads, older roots are best cooked. The flavour is mild and sweet, and is said to resemble oysters. The roots are harvested as required from October until early spring, or can be harvested in late autumn and stored until required. Young shoots – raw or cooked. The new growth is used in spring. A sweet taste. Flowering shoots – raw or cooked. Used like asparagus. Flowers – raw. Added to salads[183]. The sprouted seeds can be added to salads or sandwiches. The root latex is used as a chewing gum.

Meditional Uses:

Antibilious;  Aperient;  Deobstruent;  Diuretic.

Salsify is a cleansing food with a beneficial effect upon the liver and gallbladder. The root is antibilious, slightly aperient, deobstruent and diuretic. It is specific in the treatment of obstructions of the gall bladder and jaundice and is also used in the treatment of arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure

Other Uses : Gum.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Tragopogon+porrifolius
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragopogon_porrifolius
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/salsaf08.html

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