Western Salsify

For years, I thought that Western Salsify was a native plant. It blooms along the edge of our road and has been delighting us with its bright yellow 2 inch blooms for the last couple weeks.

I took pictures of it on my way to work last week, and was looking forward to showing yet another native plant off to you. Then I learned that it is native to central Europe and western Asia. Introduced to North America, it is now considered a pest in most states. Well, I stand corrected.  But I still think it’s pretty.

The blooms open early every day to face the morning sun,

and then close by mid-afternoon.  Later, the plant makes large fluffy seedheads about 3 inches across that look very similar to dandelion seedheads.

Ok, so it’s non-native, and considered invasive. But I still like it.  Isn’t it pretty in a rustic wild sort of way?

16 comments to Western Salsify

  • It is pretty and sure looks like it belongs on the prairie.

  • Jo

    We have a weed in Australia that has a very similar flower, called dandelion or Cape Weed. When in full flower the paddocks look like big patches of sunshine.

  • They are beautiful regardless!!

  • I love yellow in the prairie, it’s so beautiful the morning with the sun.

  • Across my job, downtown, there is an empty grass strip left after they removed the railroad tracks that ran through there years ago. Now, these same flowers grow and bloom there. Native or non-native are terms we humans apply to plants and animals. The flowers only know they have soil, water, and sun and that’s all they need to know. Providence provides. 🙂

  • Well, now I know what that ‘weed’ is that grows along our road. I agree with you it is pretty.

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

  • I thought that was a native wildflower as well. It’s also known as goat’s beard. (I had to double check because western salsify sounded familiar, too.) I just took some photos of some on our property last week. The seedheads look like enormous dandelion puffs, and kids always love them for that.

  • Vivian

    I think that they are beautiful flowers. Look at how intricate their petal patterns are. Most people consider dandilions as invasive pests, but I like them. They look like little suns in the grass. I have even seen them bloom on warm days in the winter.

  • Caara Stoney

    Ugh!!!

    I pull up hundreds of these a day in my meadow in Chattanooga. I was so excited when I first saw them three years ago, just a few and looking like a cool air fern. But, they are very prolific and, don’t forget, invasive. This Spring I have seen them as far north as Michigan. In Wisconsin last week, I saw beautiful Lupin growing everywhere and was saddened to find out that they are also invasive and not good for the native soil.

    It is imperative that we all consider our local ecology and, though a plant is pretty, if we are to leave legacy behind for our children and grandchildren, it is time that we begin to honor our native flora by getting rid of plants that would otherwise take over, changing the subtle yet very important balance that must prevail.

    Off to pull Salsify, johnson grass, mimosa, privet and kudzu!

    • Suzanne

      Hi Caara,
      You are right, we do need to get rid of the non-native plants. You should see my husband declare war on the musk thistle every summer. He’s on a mission.
      Thanks for stopping by,
      Suzanne

  • Caara Stoney

    me again…

    I just today found the name for this plant, I thank you for letting me vent here.

    Goat’s Beard is actually a form of spirea, very different from salisfy

    Happy Weekend

  • Elaine Snively

    There is a Goat’s Beard that blooms in Michigan. The flowers are yellow, 2 1/2″ diameter and a single layers of petals. The seeds look about the same as the ones here.

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