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PlantFiles: Yellow Salsify, Goat's Beard, Meadow Salsify, Moonflower, Goat Dandelion
Tragopogon dubius

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tragopogon (tra-go-POH-gon) (Info)
Species: dubius (DOO-bee-us) (Info)

Synonym:Tragopogon major
Synonym:Tragopogon dubius subsp. major
Synonym:Tragopogon dubius subsp. campestris

One member has or wants this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)
USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)
USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

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3 positives
1 neutral
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative mountainviewer On Jun 30, 2014, mountainviewer from Fort Collins, CO wrote:

This is a bad invasive weed. I have succeeded in killing them by cutting them off close to the ground and then putting a large rock on top of where they were.

Positive gailraehudson On Oct 3, 2013, gailraehudson from Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b) wrote:

Experience positive, so far. Appeared in my yard (which I attempt to keep fairly wild) two years ago. Mostly blooms and quickly dies back as per information above but, this year, found one, bordering my concrete driveway, blooming during the second week of September. I love the blooms. In this area they are hard to catch. Seem to bloom mostly in the early morning for just a few hours several days in a row before it goes to seed.

Negative tremuloides On Jun 30, 2013, tremuloides from Jackson, WY wrote:

I consider this plant to be a weed. It is pretty aggressive. I admit the seed balls look kind of pretty (like giant dandelions gone to seed) except that when I see them it reminds me of more work.

I have spent a lot of time trying to get rid of these plants from my yard. I try to pull them just as they begin to flower, but before they go to seed (if you try when they are smaller they break off above the root and come back with about 15 stems per plant). Works best after a rain, or I water them before I pull them. They are a nuisance in the lawn since they grow taller and faster than the grass after a mow, and they will still seed after you pull them so you have to dispose of them right away. The sap will also stain your clothes and nothing will get it out.

Positive BotanyDave On Nov 29, 2009, BotanyDave from Norman, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is one of my favorite wild vegetables, and tastes one heck of a lot better than its relative salsify. Young stems/flower buds are edible once steamed. Studies of this species for use as an alternative vegetable crop do exist.

Yes, they are "weedy," but they're terribly difficult to transplant to one's garden. The flowers are quite beautiful, and the seed heads (achenes) are very pretty. When cut, stems release a sticky latex (so be prepared to scrub your fingers). :-)

Positive olmpiad On May 15, 2008, olmpiad from Dallas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I like this plant. Yes, it's probably considered a "weed" by most people, but I find the "puffballs" amazing! Their like the common dandelion's on steroids! Try imagining a softball on a stick, and this is what you end up with! The huge, yellow flowers are a great bonus as well!

Negative Scorpioangel On Sep 22, 2005, Scorpioangel from Gold Hill, OR (Zone 7a) wrote:

an invasive weed in gardens. Once started it is hard to get rid of because of the long taproot. It will grow anywhere.

Neutral melody On Feb 14, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Hollow stems, branched near the base, with a few long tapered leaves and topped by a pale yellow flower head. The sap is milky.

This plant was introduced from Europe and 'tragopogon' is Greek for 'goats beard'. Most likely refering to the thin tapering , grass-like leaves.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Prescott, Arizona
Sedona, Arizona
Denver, Colorado
Fort Collins, Colorado
Anna, Illinois
Germantown, Maryland
Oakland, Maryland
Isle, Minnesota
Dover, Ohio
Edmond, Oklahoma
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Salem, Oregon
Greencastle, Pennsylvania
Millersburg, Pennsylvania
Arlington, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Garland, Texas
Midland, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah
Clarkston, Washington
Jackson, Wyoming

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