Herb: Salsify

Latin name: Tragopogon porrifolius

Synonyms: Tragopogon sinuatus

Family: Compositae

Medicinal use of Salsify:

Salsify is a cleansing food with a beneficial effect upon the liver and gallbladder. The root is antibilious, slightly aperient, deobstruent and diuretic. It is specific in the treatment of obstructions of the gall bladder and jaundice and is also used in the treatment of arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure.

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)

June to

Habitat of the herb:

Found near the sea and estuaries in S.E. England.

Edible parts of Salsify:

Root - raw or cooked. The young root can be grated in salads, older roots are best cooked. The flavour is mild and sweet, and is said to resemble oysters. The roots are harvested as required from October until early spring, or can be harvested in late autumn and stored until required. Young shoots - raw or cooked. The new growth is used in spring. A sweet taste. Flowering shoots - raw or cooked. Used like asparagus. Flowers - raw. Added to salads. The sprouted seeds can be added to salads or sandwiches. The root latex is used as a chewing gum.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow in situ as early in the year as possible, in March if weather conditions permit. Seed sowings often fail unless the soil is kept moist until the seedlings are growing well.

Cultivation of Salsify:

Found near the sea and estuaries in S.E. England.

Known hazards of Tragopogon porrifolius:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.