Salsify, Scolymus, and Scorzonera

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

salsify, scolymus, and scorzonera a trio of European or Eurasian plants which it is convenient to treat together as they are closely related to each other within the family Compositae and are all used in similar ways as root vegetables.

None of the three is widely popular, but salsify, Tragopogon porrifolius, is the best known. It is a larger relative of the common wild plant goat’s beard, T. pratensis. Indeed Tragopogon means ‘goat’s beard’, a reference to the hairy seed ‘clocks’ of these plants. The meaning of porrifolium is ‘leek-leafed’, which is a fair description.