Salsify

(Tragopogon porrifolius) This odd-looking relative of the sunflower family is also known as goat’s beard and oyster plant. Popular during the Victorian era, the hairy roots of this cold-hardy crop have a unique taste, which some liken to that of an oyster; others consider the flavor akin to parsnips mixed with artichoke. Salsify has been cultivated since at least the 13th century. Direct sow seeds 2 weeks before last frost date. Seeds germinate in 14-28 days. Ideal germination temperature is 40-60F. Sow ½” deep in very early spring, keeping moist until seedlings emerge. Needs at least 3 inches of space between plants. Salsify requires full sun. It isn’t fussy about soil type, but it must be finely worked and free of rocks in order to produce straight roots. Lift and store mature roots in autumn. If left until the second spring, young shoots may be harvested and used like asparagus. Salsify eventually forms attractive purple blooms on 3-foot stems. Salsify blooms starting in its second year.

COOK IT! Salsify Recipes HERE 

GROW IT! Salsify Growing Tips HERE

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