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RE: Re: OT: (h)air balls
  • Subject: RE: Re: OT: (h)air balls
  • From: David Ferguson <manzano57@msn.com>
  • Date: Fri, 21 May 2010 22:58:34 -0600


Salsify (Tragopogon) is not particularly aggressive, usually a biennial that flowers the second year and dies, but sometimes it lives longer.  It does not spread except by seed.  It is a good nectar source for things like butterflies and bees, sometimes aphids like it too, but probably not the same ones that get on Iris (???).  It can produce lots of babies if it likes an area, but they are easily removed, especially when young.   Sometimes you will see disturbed areas such as fallow fields, roadsides, etc. that are full of hundreds of plants, but in less disturbed areas it is usually not so abundant.  Roots are edible, look something like a skinny parsnip, but I've not tasted them (it is called Oyster Plant because the root is supposed to be something like Oyster, but I expect the similarity is pretty marginal).  There are at least three species, all similar, except that one has bluish to purplish flowers instead of yellow.  You can buy seeds of the bluish species from seed catalogs to raise as a vegetable or garden flower.

There are several other similar plants that look and behave similarly, but are generally smaller, and that often produce more flowers, most of those are (I think) natives.

Dave Ferguson

To: iris-photos@yahoogroups.com
From: donald@eastland.net
Date: Sat, 22 May 2010 03:05:52 +0000
Subject: [iris-photos] Re: OT: (h)air balls


Thank you! I googled images and found lots of ice plants with that name, but also found this plant. The bloom does fold by noon. So it's official name would be Tragopogon pratensis and the roots and buds are edible. I'll have to do a bit more research before I'm brave enough to try and grow some. That kind of efficient seed dispersion gives me pause, but those (h)air balls are really something and a spot dedicated to having them in a clump would be quite something. I just need to know the longterm drawbacks before I chance it. Thanks again!

Anyone out there know how aggressive and weedy it can become in terms of being a major nuisance?

Donald Eaves
Texas Zone 7b, USA

--- In iris-photos@yahoogroups.com, "rdiccicom" <rdi@...> wrote:
> Pretty sure it's a weed called "noonflower".
> -Rick
> --- In iris-photos@yahoogroups.com, "Donald Eaves" <donald@> wrote:
> >
> > Can anyone id this plant? ... I'm assuming it's in the dandelion family, but not sure. .> Donald Eaves

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