Scientific Name:
Tragopogon porrifolius L.
Vernacular Name(s):
Oyster plant; Salsify; Vegetable oyster

Biennial with cylindric rootstock. Stems erect, weakly ribbed, glabrous or sometimes with sparse cobwebby tomentum above, 30–100 cm tall. Lvs linear- to lanceolate-subulate, entire, acuminate, 5–30–(40) × 0.5–1.5–(2) cm; base sheathing; margins undulate or flat. Capitula solitary; peduncles swollen beneath capitula (> 5 mm thick at fruiting). Involucre glabrous at base; involucral bracts 6–8, lanceolate-acuminate, 3.5–6 × 0.5–1 cm at fruiting, glabrous, or tomentose near apex. Corolla mauve to purple, < involucre. Achenes fusiform, ribbed, the outer coarsely muricate, the inner becoming smooth; body 8–13–(15) mm long; beak < or up to 2× length of body, barely clavate at apex. Pappus sordid, 1.5–2 cm long, plumose, in 2 rows, seated on a distinct tomentose annulus.

[From: Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]


Flowering: Sep.–Mar.; Fruiting: Sep.–Mar.