Meadow Salsify Tragopogon pratensis
(also known as Showy Goat's-beard
) is a biannual
plant in the Asteraceae
family, distributed across Europe and North America, commonly growing in fields (hence its name) and on roadsides. It is found in most of England, on the eastern and southern edges of Scotland
, and central Ireland
but not the coastal edges.
It flowers between June and October and its flowers have a diameter of 3–5 cm. The root and buds are edible, and it has a milky latex.<!-- BiolConserv137:248. -->
It grows 30 to 100 cm tall.
It differs from Vipers Grass Scorzonera humilis
in that Vipers Grass has short, pale green bracts, whereas in Goats Beard they are long and pointed.
The lower leaves are 10 to 30 cm long, lanceolate
, keeled lengthwise, grey-green, pointed, hairless, with a white midrib. The upper leaves are shorter and more erect. It is the only United Kingdom dandelion type flower with grass like leaves.
The flower heads are 5 cm wide. They only open in the morning sunshine, hence the 'Jack go to bed at noon' name.
are rough, long beaked pappus
radiating outwards interwoven like a spiders web of fine white side hairs(referred to as "Blowball").
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