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

Tragopogon dubius Scop.
yellow salsify
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ed McMackin  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #88768)

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Distribution of Tragopogon dubius
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Species Information

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Biennial or sometimes annual herb from a taproot; stems erect, solitary, simple or sometimes branching from the base, lightly woolly-hairy when young, becoming glabrous except at leaf bases, exuding milky juice when broken, 0.3-1 m tall.
Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves entire, grasslike, tapering uniformly from base to the apex, parallel-veined, with clasping bases, 20-50 cm long, 0.5-2 cm wide.
Heads with strap-shaped flowers, solitary, on much-enlarged, hollow stalks terminating the stems or few branches; involucres 2.5-7 cm tall; involucral bracts linear-lanceolate, equal, usually about 13 or only 8 on dwarfed plants or on last-formed heads, distinctly surpassing the ray flowers; ray flowers pale yellow; disk flowers lacking.
Achenes elongate, 5- to 10-ribbed, 2.5-3.6 cm long, tapering to the slender beak; pappus of whitish, slender-tipped, feathery bristles, the feathery branches interwebbed.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat / Range

Dry roadsides, fields and waste places in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common in S BC; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Tragopogon dubius

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) 225 832 2030
Slope Gradient (%) 0 25 202
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 193 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 8
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(267), ESSF(18), ICH(44), IDF(576), MS(63), PP(311), SBPS(1), SBS(1), SWB(1)


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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Tragopogon dubius subsp. major (Jacq.) Voll.
Tragopogon major Jacq.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References