Tragopogon pratensis L.
meadow salsify
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Paul Handford     (Photo ID #88727)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Tragopogon pratensis
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


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)
796 311 1737
Slope Gradient (%)
16 0 100

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

186 3 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 1 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
# 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)

Habitat and Range

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

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia