Tragopogon porrifolius is a plant cultivated for its ornamental flower and edible root. It also grows wild in many places and is one of the most widely known species of the salsify genus, Tragopogon. It is commonly known as purple or common salsify, oyster plant, vegetable oyster, Jerusalem star, Jack go to bed, goatsbeard or simply salsify (although these last two names are also applied to other species, as well).
Tragopogon porrifolius is a common biennial wildflower, native to southeast Europe and north Africa, but introduced elsewhere, for example, into the British Isles (mainly in central and southern England), other parts of northern Europe, North America, and southern Africa and in Australia.
In the UK it flowers from May to September, but in warmer areas such as California it can be found in bloom from April. The flower head is about 5 cm across, and each is surrounded by green bracts which are longer than the petals (technically, the ligules of the ray flowers). The flowers are like that of Tragopogon pratensis, but are larger and dull purple, 3–5 cm across. The flowers are hermaphroditic, and pollination is by insects.
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