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Tragopogon pratensis

Previously known as:

  • Tragopogon lamottei
  • Tragopogon orientalis
Phonetic Spelling
tra-go-POH-gon pray-TEN-sis
Description

Yellow Goat's Beard is an ornamental biennial wildflower with edible roots, shoots, stems, and leaves. This wildflower is typically found along roadsides, woodlands, fields, and other disturbed areas. The plant is a member of the Asteraceae or Aster family. Other common names include Meadow Goat's Beard, Meadow Salsify, Noonflower, and Jack-Go-To-Bed-At-Noon.

The plant is native to Europe to Central Asia and Turkey. It has been introduced to widespread areas of Canada, Haiti, and the United States.

The origin of the genus name Tragopogon is derived from two Greek words. Tragos means "goat" and pogon means "beard." "Beard" references the fuzzy seedhead that is produced after flowering. The species name pratensis means "of the meadows" and refers to its typical habitat. The species common name Jack-Go-To- Bed-At-Noon refers to the flowering trait of closing by noon on sunny days.

Yellow Goat's Beard performs best in full sun, sandy, loamy, or clay soils and tolerates strong winds. It is intolerant to shade. The plant reseeds itself from its "giant dandelion" plume, which is easily carried off by the wind.

The plant is biennial and forms a low-growing rosette the first year. In the second year, the plant produces one or more flowering stems that are 1 to 3 feet tall. The stem is erect and contains a milky sap. The leaves are grass-like, green with a whitish cast, and the leaf blades curve backward at the tips. From May to August a yellow daisy-like flower appears at the top of the stem. The fruit is a fluffy tannish white pappas that is easily carried off by the wind to reseed.

Yellow Goat's Beard has ornamental, medicinal, and edible properties. 

Bees and other insects are attracted to the flowers for nectar and pollination. Small mammals are not attracted to the bitter-tasting sap of the foliage, stems, and roots. This plant could be considered for a Wildflower Garden, Pollinator Garden, or Cottage Garden.

Quick ID Hints:

  • grows 1-3 feet tall
  • roots, stems, and leaves have a milky sap
  • the foliage is grass-like with curling of the leaf blade at the tips
  • smooth green foliage with a whitish-cast
  • deep yellow solitary daisy-like flowers
  • the flower opens in the morning on sunny days and closes by noon
  • 8 floral bracts surround the flower and are as long as or shorter than the petals
  • giant dandelion-like fuzzy seedhead

Insects, Diseases, and Other Problems:

The plant is generally pest and disease-free. Spittlebugs may be found on the stems. 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#yellow flowers#wind tolerant#reseeds#edible roots#edible leaves#wildflower garden#edible stems#clay soils tolerant#pollinator garden#bee friendly#shade intolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#yellow flowers#wind tolerant#reseeds#edible roots#edible leaves#wildflower garden#edible stems#clay soils tolerant#pollinator garden#bee friendly#shade intolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Tragopogon
    Species:
    pratensis
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The plant has been used to treat liver and gallbladder problems because it has a detoxifying effect and stimulates appetite and digestion. Syrups have been made from the root to treat coughs and bronchitis. The root is best harvested in the fall and dried for later use.
    Life Cycle:
    Biennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe to Central Asia and Turkey
    Distribution:
    Native: Austria, Baltic States, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Central European Russia, Corsica, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East European Russia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Northern European Russia, Northwest European Russia, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and Yugoslavia; Introduced: Canada--Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan; Haiti; USA--AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WS, and WY
    Wildlife Value:
    Bees and flies are attracted to the nectar of the flowers. Spittlebugs may be found on the foliage and stems.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Colorful
    Edibility:
    The roots of the plant have a sweet flavor. The older roots are best when cooked. Young leaves and shoots may be served raw in salads or cooked in soups. The leaves taste best in the spring. The flower stems may be cooked and served like asparagus.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The brown seeds or achenes are 1 to 1.5 inches long and are attached to a fluffy tannish-white pappus with feathery bristles. It appears to be a large dandelion plume and measures about 3 inches in diameter. The seeds are distributed by the wind, and the plant reseeds itself.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The solitary yellow flowerhead measures 1 to 2.5 inches in diameter and has 16-25 petal rays that form a floret. The outer florets are longer than the inner florets. Each of the florets has a truncated tip with 5 small teeth. The anthers are black. Eight green bracts surround the flower, and they are as long or shorter than the petals. The flowers bloom from May to August. The flower will open on sunny mornings and closes by noon to form a thin pod.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    White
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are grass-like blades and measure 12 inches long and 3/4 inches wide. They are green, alternate, and linear in shape. There is a powdery or waxy film on the undersides of the leaf blades. The leaves have sparse wooly hairs when they are young and are hairless as they mature. The leaves are coiled or curved at the tips. The leaves narrow near the base, taper to a pointed tip, and clasp the stem.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    White
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    The flower stem is hairless, erect, and has a powdery or waxy film. The cross-section of the stem is circular.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators