salsify

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salsify,

common name for a tall, narrow-leaved biennial (Tragopogon porrifolius) of the family Asteraceae (asteraster
[Gr.,=star], common name for the Asteraceae (Compositae), the aster family, in North America, name for plants of the genus Aster, sometimes called wild asters, and for a related plant more correctly called China aster (Callistephus chinensis
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 family), native to S Europe but now naturalized and sometimes growing as a weed in North America. Known also as purple goatsbeard, oyster plant, and vegetable oyster, it is widely cultivated for its long edible root, oysterlike in flavor. The roots may be left in the ground through winter and dug as needed. The related meadow salsify or yellow goatsbeard (T. pratensis) is sometimes called John-go-to-bed-at-noon because the flower heads of salsifies close at midday. It is similar to the common salsify but has a large, flat head of yellow (rather than purple) flowers; it is seldom cultivated. The common name goatsbeard—a translation of the Greek generic name Tragopogon—refers to the long, feathery, dandelionlike hairs on the seeds. Among other plants with similar names are an ornamental Eurasian perennial, Aruncus sylvester, called goatsbeard but related to the spiraea and usually cultivated under that name, and the black salsify (Scorzonera hispanica), a composite with an edible root like that of the common salsify. Salsify is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.

salsify

1. a Mediterranean plant, Tragopogon porrifolius, having grasslike leaves, purple flower heads, and a long white edible taproot: family Asteraceae (composites)
2. the root of this plant, which tastes of oysters and is eaten as a vegetable