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Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Exotic Species:
salsify Tragopogon porrifolius

Salsify has grasslike leaves. Its flower and seed heads are similar to those of the common dandelion but much larger. Pointed bracts stick out beyond the rays of the flower head, giving a spiky appearance. Flower heads close in the afternoon. This plant is sometimes called "vegetable oyster" because the boiled roots are said to taste like oysters. Salsify is a native of Europe which has escaped cultivation and is now found throughout Illinois.

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