Salsify is a root vegetable which is inherent to Mediterranean region of Europe, where it was cultivated and used as food for the centuries. This plant has been introduced to other regions of the world as well.

The plant Tragopogon porrifolius also goes by the name such as Oyster Plant and Purple Goatsbeard. The leaves are like blades and slender stalks produce purple flowers. The greens and stalks of Salsify are also consumable. The root has the flavor of oyster.The roots are added to soups and stews. The greens are added to the salads and other various dishes.

Name Salsify
Scientific Name Tragopogon porrifolius
Native Mediterranean regions of southern Europe.
It has also been introduced to the North America, British Isles, South Africa and Australia.
Common/English Name Common Salsify, Jerusalem Star, Goatsbeard, John-Go-To-Bed-At-Noon, Oyster Plant, Joseph’s Flower, Purple Goatsbeard, Purple Salsify, Vegetable Oyster, Salsify, Vegetable Oyster Plant, Wild Quinine, White Salsify, Wild Salsify
Name in Other Languages Afrikaans: Hawerwortel,
Bulgarian: Salzifi,
Catalan: Barba De Cabra,
Chinese: Po Lo Min Shin,
Corsican: Scorzu Bianco,
Croatian: Turovet,
Czech: Salsifis,
Danish: Havrerod,
Dutch: Boksbaard,
Estonian: Piimjuur,
Esperanto: Tragopogo Purpura,
Finnish: Kaurajuuri,
French: Salsifi s Blanc,
Gaelic: Salsey,
Galician: Barba Cabreira,
German: Gemüse-Haferwurz,
Greek: Lagolachano,
Hebrew: Zkan-Hataish
Hungarian: Kecskedin,
Icelandic: Hafursrot,
India (Hindi): Ek Qism Ka,
Italian: Barba Di Becco Violetta,
Japanese: Mugina Deshiko,
Korean: Seoyang Ueong,
Lithuanian: Valgomasis Putelis,
Macedonian: Španska Kozja Brada,
Maltese: Lehjet Il-Bodbod,
Mongolian: Jamaan Sakhal,
Norwegian: Geitskjegg,
Polish: Salsefia
Portuguese: Cercifi,
Romanian: Barba Caprei,
Russian: Sal,
Serbian: Turovet
Slovašcina: Porovolistna Kozja Brada
Spanish: Barba De Cabra,
Swedish: Haverrot
Tajik: Rishi Buz
Turkish: Tekesakali,
Ukrainian: Vìvsjanij Korìn
Vietnamese: Cây Củ Hạ
Plant Growth Habit Robust, erect, biennial
Growing Climate Cool
Soil Well-drained
Plant Size 50-110 cm high
Stem Glabrescent, erect, unbranched; Height: 2-4 feet
Leaf Alternate, thin, linear lanceolate, green; Length: 20-40 cm
Flowering Season June- September
Flower Across: 5 cm; Purple flower head with green bracts
Taproot shape and size Long, cylindrical, tapered; Length: 15–30 cm; Width: 2.5-3 cm
Taproot color Fleshy, brownish yellow
Taproot skin Rough
Flesh color Creamy white
Fruit shape & size Tiny, oblong- narrow; Length: 1 to 1-3/5 inches (2.5–4 cm)
Fruit color Pale brown
Flavor/aroma Distinct nutty
Major Nutritions (Raw) Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.368 mg (28.31%)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.293 mg (22.54%)
Carbohydrate 24.74 g (19.03%)
Manganese, Mn 0.356 mg (15.48%)
Phosphorus, P 100 mg (14.29%)
Copper, Cu 0.118 mg (13.11%)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 10.6 mg (11.78%)
Iron, Fe 0.93 mg (11.63%)
Total dietary Fiber 4.4 g (11.58%)
Potassium, K 505 mg (10.74%)
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 0.493 mg (9.86%)
Health Benefits
  • Promotes circulation
  • Bone health
  • Detoxify the body
  • Healthy heart
  • Prevent digestive ailments
  • Maintains blood pressure
  • Enhance immunity power
  • Brain health
  • Eye health
  • Improve symptoms of PMS
Calories in 1cup slices (133 gm) Raw 109 Kcal.
Traditional uses
  • In herbal medicine, Salsify is used as cleansing food and helpful for liver and gall bladder.
  • The root is used as antibilious, deobstruent, aperient and diuretic.
  • It is used to treat of gall bladder obstructions, jaundice, arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure.
  • The intake of Salsify in large amount can cause bloating.
  • The excessive consumption of root results abdoinal discomfort, stomachache, bloating and diarrhea.
  • Inulin leads to itching, hypersensitivity reactions and redness.
How to Eat
  • It could be cooked like mashed potatoes.
  • It could be steamed and served as side dish.
  • Roots are consumed raw or cooked which resembles the flavour of oysters.
  • The young roots, flowers are eaten as salads and soups.
  • The sprouted seeds are added to sandwiches or salads.
  • The root latex could be used as a chewing gum.
  • The greens are also eaten which possess a sweet taste.
  • The roots are used as a dietetic medicine or coffee substitute.
Other Facts
  • The parts of Salsify possess sticky, milky latex which could be used like a chewing gum.
  • Salsify was cultivated in Europe which begun in 16th and 17th century.
  • Cypsela is the fruit of salsify.
  • It is known as oyster plan as its root resembles oysters taste.


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