Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Yellow Salsify - Tragopogon dubius   Scopoli
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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AuthorScopoli
DistributionMostly upper Piedmont and low Mountains; disjunct to Wake County in the lower Piedmont. First collected in Catawba, McDowell, and Polk counties in 1956. Specimens from Martin and Orange counties are Pyrrhopappus carolinianus; a specimen from Watauga County is T. pratensis; a specimen from Avery County is misidentified also.

Native of Europe; in N.A. throughout except for the Deep South.
AbundanceRare.
HabitatRailroad margins, roadbanks, fields.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting late April-July.
IdentificationOur 3 species of Tragopogon produce very large fruiting globes, like overgrown dandelions. In flower, one species is purple, the other 2 are yellow. Yellow Salsify differs from Meadow Salsify (T. pratensis) in the expanded upper end of the flower stalk and the pale yellow rays (vs. not expanded or very slightly expanded stalk, and the rays brighter yellow in T. pratensis). Pyrrhopappus differs in having involucral bracts in 2 different sizes (vs. all the same in Tragopogon); also its leaves are cut differently and clasp the stem much less.
Taxonomic CommentsA synonym is T. major.

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