Tragopogon pratensis and Tragopogon porrifolius

Goat’s Beard – Salsifis des prés

It is quite a common plant in our area. Goat's Beard An annual to perennial, 30-80 cm tall with a 25 cm long edible taproot. The leaves half clasp the stem, they are grass-like, tapered to a point.  The flower heads are golden-yellow (1.8-4 cm), the flower bracts are usually longer than the petals.  The root is dark grey on the outside and contains a lot of latex. It likes to be near water, or in moist meadows.

Salsify – Salsifis à feuilles de poireaux

Very common in Provence and closely resembles the cultivated Salsify.  Erect stems, usually branched, broadening up to the flower head. salsify - salsifis à feuilles de poireaux The leaves are long, broadly linear.  The flower heads are reddish-purple (2.5-4.8 cm), flower bracts are equal, or slightly larger than, the flower rays.  The long roots are brown-black from the outside and are rich in latex.  Found on roadsides, grass lands or waste ground.
salsify - salsifis à feuilles de poireauxThe Italians were the first to cultivate the Salsify in the 16th century.  By the 17th century it was introduced into northern Europe as a vegetable and a flower.
The young shoots are eaten in salads or cooked as a vegetable, the buds are eaten fresh, the flowers can be used to decorate a dish and the roots can be steamed or fried.
Bibliography:  Mediterranean Wild Flowers – Majorie Blamey and Christopher Grey-Wilson; Herbs and Herbalism – Malcolm Stuart; Sauvages et comestibles – Marie-Cluade Paume  

About seasonalforaging

We are a group of friends who enjoy walking in the countryside in Provence searching for plants and herbs to identify and use.
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