Tragopogon porrifolius (Salsify) [15 Seeds]


Germination Information: If you are planning to harvest the roots, you’re best off direct-sowing these seeds, 1/2 to 1 inch deep, in early spring to late spring or early summer.

If you just want a clump primarily for the large, beautiful flowers and poofy seedheads, you can start the seeds in a pot (three to five in a 4-inch pot) and transplant them as a group when they are a few inches tall. They seem to germinate best in cool conditions, so put the pot outdoors in early spring or keep it in a cool spot indoors (around 50° to 60°F) if at all possible.

A bit of additional information: Self-sown seedlings may appear in late fall to very early spring, and those seedlings generally flower and set seed the first spring. I don’t imagine they’d be much use for their roots, though. To get the best roots, treat the plants as biennials by growing them from a direct sowing in spring.

Note that this information will not be on the seed packet you receive.

Please read the description as well before ordering.

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Seldom seen in gardens these days, salsify (Tragopogon porrifolius) is an out-of-the-ordinary “edimental”: both edible and ornamental. It has been grown for centuries for its long, tapering roots, which can be used in cooking like other root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. The tender leaves and shoots are also edible.

The young plants are slender, mostly upright, grayish green leaves. In the second spring (if you don’t harvest the roots in fall or winter), they send up 3-foot-tall stems topped with distinctive purple, daisy-form flowers. The blooms open early in the morning and close by midday; soon after, they open into giant puffballs, looking like a huge dandelion seedhead. Clip off the seedheads if you don’t want to collect the seeds, or if you don’t want the plants to self-sow. Full sun. Usually biennial; Zones 5 to 10.

Harvested in late June 2022. At least 15 seeds.

Please read the germination information as well before ordering.

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