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Another common name for Yellow Goat's Beard is Meadow Salsify. It is closely related to Tragopogon porrifolius (The Oyster Plant), which is grown as a vegetable because of its edible roots. However, this latter species has purple flowerheads. Yellow Goat's Beard has an even closer resemblance to Tragopogon dubius (Western Goat's Beard), which is also common in the wild. While Yellow Goat's Beard has bright yellow flowerheads, Western Goat's Beard usually has pale yellow flowerheads. Yellow Goat's Beard has about 8 floral bracts that extend to the outer margin of the flowerhead (or slightly beyond in some cases), while Western Goat's Beard has about 13 floral bracts that extend considerably beyond the outer margin of the flowerhead. Also, the foliage of Western Goat's Beard has a tendency to be more pale green or blue-green in color. The foliage of Tragopogon spp. (Goat's Beards) resemble the foliage of Tradescantia spp. (Spiderworts), but these two groups of plants have very different flowers. Another difference is the absence of white latex in the foliage of Spiderworts.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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