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



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


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

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


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

Norman, Oklahoma

Salem, Oregon

Greencastle, Pennsylvania

Millersburg, Pennsylvania

Arlington, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Garland, Texas

Lorena, Texas

Midland, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Clarkston, Washington

Jackson, Wyoming

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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.


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.


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). :-)


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!


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.


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.