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Purple salsify

Tragopogon porrifolius

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Purple salsify is known for its tall, stately, purple-rayed blooms, its tasty edible root, and its herbal properties. With its grass-like leaves and ornamental flower, this plant is an aesthetically pleasing and easy to grow vegetable, a great addition to any Mediterranean garden. The root is noted for tasting of oysters with a bit of added sweetness, so enjoy it in a variety of dishes brought forth right out of your own vegetable garden!

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Fruiting time
Spring, Summer

Harvesting

If possible, wait to harvest roots until after the first frost. Cold weather improves flavor. Do not try to pull up roots by the stems. Dig deeply around roots with a spade, to avoid breaking the roots. Brush off roots and remove the stems. Place in a cool, dry place to dry for a few weeks, or store in the refrigerator.

Propagation

Seed
Directly sow seeds into the garden, as early as the ground can be worked in the spring. Seed Germination is 7-21 days. Prior to sowing seeds, prepare the soil to a foot deep.

Special features

Attracts useful insects
Insects such as bees and butterflies.
Pot plant
The roots need loose, deep soil for best growth and sufficient drainage when planted in a container.

Geography

Origin
The Mediterranean.

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Medicinal
It has beneficial effects on the liver and gall bladder. The root is antibilious, slightly aperient, deobstruent and diuretic. Also used in the treatment of arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure.
Edible
Young roots can be grated into salads, older roots cooked and used in soups and stews. Eat flowering shoots either raw or cooked. Add flowers and seeds to salads and sandwiches.

Personality

Family
Asteraceae
Flower colour
Purples
Scent
None

Problems

Generally pest and disease free.

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