E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Tragopogon porrifolius L.
common salsify (oyster plant; salsify)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Brian Klinkenberg  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #3539)

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Distribution of Tragopogon porrifolius
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Species Information

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General:
Biennial herb from a taproot; stems erect, solitary, simple or more commonly branching from the base, glabrous, exuding milky juice when broken, 0.4-1 m tall.
Leaves:
Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves entire, grasslike, tapering uniformly from base to the apex, parallel-veined with clasping bases, 5-30 cm long, 0.5-2 cm wide.
Flowers:
Heads with strap-shaped flowers, solitary, on enlarged, hollow stalks terminating the stems or few branches; involucres 2.5-4 cm tall; involucral bracts lanceolate, swollen at the base, equal, 5-11 or more commonly about 8, barely to strongly surpassing the ray flowers; ray flowers purple; disk flowers lacking.
Fruits:
Achenes elongate, 5- to 10-ribbed, 2.5-7 cm long, tapering to the slender beak; pappus of brownish, slender-tipped, feathery bristles, the feathery branches interwebbed.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Purple
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry roadsides and waste places in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; infrequent in SC BC, frequent in SW BC, known from Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Climate

The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References