Meadow goatsbeard – Tragopogon Orientalis
The large meadow goatsbeard is a herbaceous semi-rosette plant with a strong tap root. It reaches a growth height of up to 70 cm.
The hollow stem is slightly swollen at the top and, like the grassy leaves, glabrous. If injured, white, sticky latex emerges. The numerous yellow ray florets are grouped in capitula up to 7 cm in size, which are surrounded by eight green, pointed bracts.
The stamens are brownish-violet in colour at their tip, creating a speckled impression in the head. The flowered ray florets still protrude from the folded heads like a goatee and give the plant its name.
The flower heads open early in the morning when the sun shines and close again early in the afternoon. The fruits bear parachutes up to 4 cm wide and enable efficient distribution.
Occurrence of a meadow goatsbeard
The Meadow goatsbeard is widespread everywhere in Central Europe on nutrient-rich, fresh meadows above alkaline subsoil. Warm summer sites are preferred and stagnant soils are avoided. The feed value is indicated as low.
Effect large meadow goatsbeard
In the middle ages, the plant was still cultivated as food because of the carbohydrate-rich rhizome, but was later replaced by the related black salsify. All young plant parts can be eaten raw and taste sweet.
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