Salsify: Tragopogon porrifolius
Tragopogon porrifolius is native to the Mediterranean. This popular colonial vegetable was grown by Brother August Schubert at Bethabara in 1761. The edible root resembles a parsnip and can be peeled and cooked in various stews. Salsify is a biennial root vegetable that prefers full sun and well-drained soil. This plant can reach a height of 3' and spread up to 2' wide. The purple daisy-like flowers bloom in early spring, which attract beneficial insects. Direct sow seeds into the garden after the last frost date, 6-10" apart. Cover seeds with ¼" of soil and keep the soil moist but not wet. Do not cover. Seeds germinate in 7-21 days at soil temperatures between 50-80° F. Once established, salsify readily self-sows. USDA Zones 4-8.