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.