Goat's beard, Oyster plant
Asteraceae – Daisy family
This herbaceous biennial begins in early spring as a basal rosette.
Salsify typically reaches a height of 8-24 inches, but may attain 3 feet or more.
This herbaceous biennial begins in early spring as a basal rosette with thick, parallel veined, grass like leaves that may reach up to 1' in length.
Later in spring, a smooth upright stem with alternate thin grass like, light green, leaves appears. The leaves clasp the stem, which contains milky juice.
In the spring a single, giant, yellow or purple dandelion like flower tops the stem. Below the flower are approximately 8 lance shaped bracts. The blossom opens in the morning, and closes by midday.
After fertilization, the bracts droop, like a goats beard, and the flower becomes a globe shaped seed ball, like that of dandelion, only much larger.
Waste Areas, Roadsides
Young Leaves, Crowns, Root
Wild Food Uses:
The young basal rosette leaves, and crowns, can be added to salads, or as a trail nibble, or as a cooked vegetable. The root can be boiled, and eaten as a root vegetable. The leaves and root have a mildly bitter, oyster-like flavor, hence the common name oyster plant. The root is also supposed to be able to be roasted, and ground for a coffee substitute, although I have never tried this.
The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.