yellow goat's beard (Tragopogon dubius)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMON NAMES:
goatsbeard
meadow goat's-beard
goat's-beard
yellow goat's beard
salsify
wild oysterplant
yellow salsify
western salsify
goat's beard
common salsify
Western goat's beard

 

SCIENTIFIC SYNONYMS:
Tragopogon dubius ssp. major (Jacq.) Voll
Tragopogon majus Jacq.
Tragopogon tauricus Klokov

 

CONFIRMATION STATUS: Pending confirmation.

 

TAXONOMY: The currently accepted scientific name of yellow goat's
beard is Tragopogon dubius Scop. Tragopogon dubius appears to prefer
drier habitats than other Tragopogon spp. (Goat's Beards). Two species,
Tragopogon dubius and Tragopogon pratensis, are very similar inappear-

ance and can b e difficult to tell apart. However, while Tragopogon
pratensis
is often found in grassy areas along roadside ditches, Trago-

pogon dubius typically occurs along railroads in dry gravelly areas. In

addition, Tragopogon pratensis has floral bracts that are shorter and fewer

in number (there are about 8 bracts that extend to the outer margin of the
ray florets, but usually not beyond), and its foliage tends to be less pale
than the foliage of Tragopogon. The other species in this genus, Trago-
pogon porrifolius (oyster plant), is sometimes cultivated as a root vegeta-
ble in gardens, from where it occasionally escapes. However, the flower-
heads of the oyster plant are purple, rather than yellow. Fortunately, only
Tragopogon dubius is the only member of the Tragopogon genus listed in
the Atlas of Virginia Flora as occurring in Facquier County.

 

NATIVE STATUS: Introduced, United States and Canada.

 

GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS:

 

Habit: This adventive plant is usually a biennial that consists of a rosette

of basal leaves during the 1st year. During the 2nd year, it sends up one or

more flowering stalks about 1-3' tall that are little branched. The round

stems are glabrous, often becoming somewhat enlarged at the base of the

cauline leaves.

 

Leaves: These alternate leaves are up to 1' long and ¾" across, becoming

smaller as they ascend the stems. They are linear-lanceolate, glabrous, and

smooth along the margins. Each leaf has parallel venation and strongly

clasps the stem at its base. The basal leaves are similar in appearance to

the cauline leaves. Both the stems and leaves are pale greyish green or blu-

ish green, and they contain a white milky latex.

 

Flowers: The upper stems terminate in long naked flowering stalks, each

stalk producing a single flowerhead. The flowering stalk becomes enlarged
underneath the flowerhead. Each flowerhead is about 2" across, consisting
of numerous ray florets that are pale yellow and about 13 linear-lanceolate
floral bracts that are about the same color as the stems and leaves. These
floral bracts extend beyond the outer margin of the flowerhead as defined
by the ray florets. The outer ray florets are substantially longer than the
inner ray florets. Each ray floret has an outer tip with 5 small teeth; it is
either truncated or rounded. At the base of each ray floret, there is a colum-

nar reproductive structure consisting of a style that is divided at its tip and

several black anthers that are appressed together around the middle of the

style. The flowerheads open during the early morning, but become closed

by the afternoon.

 

Fruit/Seeds: Each ray floret is replaced by a linear achene that has a thread-

like beak, to which is attached a tuft of hairs. These hairs are slightly branch-

ed and plumose. They are usually white oward the base, but become tawny

brown toward their tips. Collectively, these tufts of hair form a spherical

ball about 3" across. Distribution of the achenes is by the wind.

 

Roots: The root system consists of a fleshy taproot.

 

REGENERATION PROCESS: This plant spreads by reseeding itself.

 

HABITAT TYPES: Habitats include areas along railroads and roadsides,
dry weedy meadows, vacant lots, pastures, and waste areas. This plant
prefers disturbed areas. It is adventive Eurasia, and is now common in
the northern Great Plains and many areas of the Midwest.

 

SITE CHARACTERISTICS: The preference is full sun, mesic to dry
conditions, and poor soil that contains sand, clay, or gravel. This plant
will also grow in fertile loam, where it will become taller.

 

SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT: The blooming period occurs from late
spring to mid-summer, usually for April through July.

 

GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: Yellow goat's beard is found throughout
the United States with the exception of some areas in southeastern region,
and is found in all Canadian provinces with the exception of the northern
territories and Newfoundland.

 

SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION: To be determined.

 

IMPORTANCE AND USES: The nectar and pollen of the flowerheads
attract various bees and flies. Because the milky white latex of the foliage
is bitter, this plant is usually avoided by livestock and other mammalian
herbivores.

 

 

Back to Inventory of Herb/Forb Families and Species

Home Page

Park Activities

   Calendar of Events
  
Volunteer Programs

   Park Regulations

Sky Meadows Park
  
Location
   Geography
   Habitats
   Trails
   Visiting Park

   Virtual Tours

Crooked Run Valley

   Historic District

   Architecture Sites

   Mt. Bleak

   Historical Events

   Park History

   Agriculture

Special Projects

   Blue Bird

   Biodiversity Survey

   BioBlitz 

 

Home Page

Nature Guide

   Purpose

   Databases

   Copyright

Plants

   Trees

   Shrubs

   Vines

   Forbs/Herbs

   Ferns

   Grasses

Animals

   Mammals

   Birds

   Reptiles

   Amphibians

   Fish

   Butterflies

   Bees

Fungi

   Mushrooms

   Lichens