Goatbeard flower

Goatbeard (Tragopogon) is a genus of perennial , biennial and annual herbs of the aster family ( Asteraceae ), common throughout Europe and in the temperate zone of Asia. Some species are used as ornamental and vegetable crops.

  • Family: aster.
  • Origin: Eurasia.
  • Rhizome: thickened taproot.
  • Stem: erect, solitary or branched.
  • Leaves: linear, sessile or partially wrapping around the stem.
  • Fruit: seed.
  • Reproductive ability: seed reproduction.
  • Illumination: open sun.
  • Watering: only during prolonged drought.
  • Content temperature: winter-hardy.
  • Flowering time: May-October.

Description of the goat-beard plant

Representatives of the goatbeard genus are plants with upright single or branched, bare or pubescent stems and narrow, sometimes wavy leaves, resembling grass leaves in shape and attachment to the stem. The root system is taproot, with a rather thick cylindrical root covered with small adventitious roots, grayish-white or yellowish in color, up to 30 cm long, edible, with a pleasant spicy taste. All parts of the plant contain a lot of white, bitter milky juice.

Goatbeard flower in the photo

The goatbeard flower is a single basket, blooming at the end of the stem and consisting only of reed flowers of yellow or pink-purple. Some forms have a characteristic thickening of the peduncle under the inflorescence. The fruits are achenes with fluffy tufts of feathery hairs, which have excellent flying qualities and spread over considerable distances with the help of the wind. Their structure determined the name of the culture, both Russian-speaking and scientific, originating from the Greek words “tragos” (goat) and “pogon” (beard), since faded baskets with unripe fruits due to tufts resemble a goat’s beard.

The natural habitat of the plant is the European continent and the temperate climatic zone of Asia, it was also introduced to North America, where it successfully acclimatized and spread. The flower grows on forest edges and glades, meadows, along roadsides, some species are used as ornamental and vegetable crops.

Below are photos of the goatbeard in flowering form, withered baskets and thick fleshy roots eaten.

Common types of goatbeard and their photos

The genus includes about a hundred species, descriptions of some of the most common in nature and known in culture are given below.

Photos of the meadow goatbeard, pore-leaved and doubtful with blossoming flowers are shown below.

meadow goatbeard

Meadow goatbeard (T. pratensis) grows throughout Europe, including in central Russia, as well as in Kazakhstan, Western Siberia, and Turkey. Biennial plant 30 to 120 cm tall with straight, branched, often pink-violet stems and linear-lanceolate sessile, entire leaves.

From May to October, large single baskets of light yellow flowers bloom on the tops of the stems, which open early in the morning, before dawn, and close by noon. This feature allows the culture to be used as one of the components of the “flower clock”, a decorative set of plants with flowers that open and close at a strictly defined time.

All parts of the flower are edible, the leaves, roots and stems are boiled, the young leaves are eaten raw, the shoots are cooked like asparagus.

Black goatbeard

Goatbeard (T. porrifolius) , the most common species in culture, is grown in many countries of the world as a root vegetable. Biennial up to 60 cm high with hollow stems, lanceolate leaves and pink-lilac flowers up to 5 cm in diameter. The roots are eaten, large, up to 40 cm long, white, with a slightly astringent fish or oyster taste. The plant is better known under the name “oat root” or “salsifi”.

Often a similar species is cultivated in vegetable gardens, called “black goatbeard” or “black root”, which is distinguished by the black color of the roots. Despite the resemblance, it belongs to the genus Scorzonera of the same family and has the scientific name “Spanish goat” or “Spanish scorzonera”.

Goatbeard dubious

Doubtful goatbeard (T. dubius) , biennial 30-100 cm high, often used as an ornamental crop. It has straight or branched stems, glabrous or slightly pubescent below, thickened in the upper part, under the inflorescences, and linear, basal leaves tightly pressed to the base of the stem. Large, up to 7 cm in diameter, light yellow flower baskets bloom in the morning and close in the evening, bloom from May to August.

Share with your friends


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Other flowers
Other people actively read

Scabiosa (Scabiosa) perennial, purple, Caucasian

Plant type: herbaceous. Growing environment: garden or greenhouse. Care: Scabiosa is...

Azalea (Azalea): species and varieties for growing in the garden

Azalea is a flowering perennial shrub that grows in China, Japan,...

Gelenium (Helenium) and its species / varieties in the photo – decorative flowers

Helenium is a genus of herbaceous annuals and perennials of the...
Tuesday, May 23, 2023