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Salsify is a unique biennial root vegetable with grass-like leaves. In the spring it produces masses of daisy-like purple flowers followed by large seedheads that resemble those of dandelions. The root is said to taste somewhat like oysters and looks like a white carrot.

Latin Name

Tragopogon porrifolius



Also Known As

Oyster Plant Jerusalem Star

Type of Plant

Vegetables Vegetables

Bloom Season



Fall Fall
Winter Winter
Spring Spring


Max height Max Height: 3'
Max spread Max Spread: 2'


  • Vegetable
  • Edible

  • Sunlight Exposure

    Full Sun Full Sun


    Native Range



    Salsify was a popular colonial vegetable and was grown by Brother August Schubert at Bethabara in 1761.

    Other Details

    Sold at Mount Vernon Sold at Mount Vernon

    Planted at Mount Vernon

    Planted at Mount Vernon Lower Garden Fruit Garden & Nursery Pioneer Farm

  • Lower Garden
  • Fruit Garden & Nursery
  • Pioneer Farm

  • Hardiness Zones

    USDA basemap

    Average annual extreme minimum temperature 1976-2005

    map legend

    Bartlett Tree Expert Company has been working with Mount Vernon Estate since 2011 providing expert arboricultural care and GPS mapping for the estate’s historic trees, as well as support from their research facility.   Mount Vernon is proud to partner with Bartlett Tree Experts and appreciates their sponsorship of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Plant Finder App.

    Bring Washington's Garden Home

    Purchase our historic seeds, collected from plants grown at Mount Vernon and plant them in your own garden.

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