Salsify was planted in gardens long ago in the days when only European garden seeds were known and planted in pioneer soil. But salsify didn't long remain in gardens. Its fluffy-headed seeds went flying over the countryside and planted themselves wherever they came to rest, wherever they could penetrate the soil and start a root. The root grew fast and stout and hairy the edible part of the oyster plant or salsify and sent up in springtime the long, almost grass-like, bright green leaves. Then in June the plant grew taller and bore long smooth stems with buds at the tips, long, tapered, graceful buds which, on a bright summer morning, open as beautiful yellow or purple flowers. There are three species of salsify, Tragopogon porrifolius which is purple and is most commonly escaped from gardens, T. dubius with its yellow flowers and a broader range across the continent, and T. pratensis which is sometimes called yellow goafs-beard. They grow much alike except for the striking difference in the flower colors.
Tragopogon dubius Scop.
June - July Roadsides.
A little while after a flower has blossomed it opens in the morning, by noon is closed, and by next day is forming its fruit the enclosing bracts open and there in the morning sunshine is a fluff-ball many times larger than that of a dandelion, though patterned upon it. The hall is a pale hull' color. These big puff-balls of the salsify stand briefly along the roads and railroad embankments, then break as the winds come and blow the fluff-borne seeds into the summer an-. Once again the salsify is on its way.