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

Tragopogon pratensis L.
meadow salsify
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Paul Handford  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #88727)

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Distribution of Tragopogon pratensis
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Species Information

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Biennial herb from a taproot; stems erect, solitary, simple or more commonly branching from the base, lightly woolly-hairy when young, becoming glabrous except at leaf bases, exuding milky juice when broken, 15-80 cm tall.
Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves entire, grasslike, becoming broader just above the base then tapering uniformly to the apex, parallel-veined with clasping bases, 5-30 cm long, 0.5-2 cm wide.
Heads with strap-shaped flowers, solitary, on straight, hollow stalks terminating the stems or few branches; involucres 1.2-2.4 cm tall; involucral bracts lanceolate, swollen at the base, equal, 5-11 or more commonly about 8, equalling or shorter than the ray flowers; ray flowers bright yellow; disk flowers lacking.
Achenes elongate, 5- to 10-ribbed, 1.2-2.4 cm long, abruptly tapering to the slender beak; pappus of whitish, slender tipped, feathery bristles, the feather branches interwebbed.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry roadsides and waste places in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common in SC BC, rare in coastal BC; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Tragopogon pratensis

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 311 796 1737
Slope Gradient (%) 0 16 100
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
3 186 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(182), ICH(1), IDF(137), PP(14)


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