FoI
Kashmir Salsify   
Foto info
Kashmir Salsify
ative Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Kashmir Salsify, Kashmir goatsbeard
Botanical name: Tragopogon kashmirianus    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)

Kashmir Salsify is a biennial herb, 25-60 cm tall, almost hairless, simple or branched. Leaves are linear, gradually narrowed above from dilated base, up to 25 cm long, upper ones successively smaller. Flower-heads are borne singly on inflated stalks. Phyllaries are 8-11, 4-6 cm long, with scaly margins. Ligules are 2-2.5 cm long, yellow, purple striated. Anthers are 3-4 mm long, lower half yellow, upper violet. Flowers close during day but open in morning and dull weather during day. Achenes are greyish brown, 1.3-1.6 cm long, gradually narrowed to 1.2-2 cm long beak. Pappus bristles are tawny, straight, plumose except for naked distal end, 2.5-4 cm long, united below into a disc; disc wooly. Fruiting heads are 7-9 cm across, pappus hairs ashy. Kashmir Salsify is endemic to the Kashmir valley. The vegetable called salsify is usually the root of purple salsify, Tragopogon porrifolius; the root is described as having the taste of oysters (hence the alternative common name "oyster plant" for some species in this genus), but more insipid with a touch of sweetness. The young shoots of purple salsify can also be eaten, as well as young leaves

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh
Photographed in Kashmir & Lahaul, HP.
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