Growing Salsify, also Vegetable oyster

Tragopogon porrifolius : Asteraceae / the daisy family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
      P P              

(Best months for growing Salsify in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • P = Sow seed
  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 50°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 6 - 8 inches apart
  • Harvest in 14-21 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Beans, Brassicas, Carrots, Celeriac, Endive, Kohl-rabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Alliums, Spinach

Your comments and tips

13 Nov 10, Schoenhenzel (Australia - temperate climate)
Hello Could you please tel me where to buy seed of Salsify's in Australia, South Australia prefered. Thank you very much. Rene Schoenhenzel
14 Nov 10, Allysa (Australia - temperate climate)
These grow in lots of gardens as a weed - not the black one though. Certainly, there are plenty in Adelaide gardens, and they are currently flowering and producing wonderful looking 'pom pom' looking seed-heads. Depending on where you live, you should be able to take a bit of a stroll around your local area, and see them flowering (they're only open up 'til about noon, then they shut 'til the next not-rainy day), or their pom poms (about 4 or so inches across, and a dull straw colour). They have an attractive bluish daisy- like flower. If you're not sure what they look like, you'll be able to find plenty of pics. on the 'net. Once you've seen them once, they'll be very recognisable to you.
01 Dec 10, Geoff Hudson (Australia - temperate climate)
Salsify is becoming increasingly popular and The Italian Gardener has it available by mail order
31 Dec 10, (Australia - temperate climate)
where can i find this in australia
25 Mar 11, rae (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
eden seeds
14 Jun 11, Lauriej (Australia - temperate climate)
I obtained my seeds in 2010 from New Gippsland Seeds in Silvan, Vic., raised then in tubes, transplanted then with plenty of potting mix around them, and they were a success. Previous time I grew them was twenty years ago, when Yates used to sell them. I allowed one plant to run to seed, and harvested that seed yesterday.
30 Dec 11, Diane Mathers (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have just harvested my first crop of salsify. The roots are small and forked quite a lot. Is this due to too much nitrogen in the soil or is this normal ?
22 Feb 12, Adrian van Leest (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Two weeks ago I sowed 80 salsify seeds by inserting each vertically into the soil 5cm apart in rows 15cm apart with the blunt end of the seed at the top level with the ground. So far 58 plants have emerged and I have resown the empty spaces inbetween. I love salsify thinly sliced at an angle and fried with garlic in butter, just like abolone. Yum! Yum!
27 Mar 12, Adrian van Leest (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
A correction to my comment below. I have found that salsify seed forms roots from the blunt end of the seed (from where it was attached to its parent plant). And so it's best to sow salsify seeds by inserting the blunt end of the long seed down into the soil with the pointy end just jutting out ready for the sprouting plant to emerge.
19 Mar 12, Lee (Australia - temperate climate)
Just curious where and if seeds can be purchased in Western Australia for salsify. Interested in giving it a go...
Showing 21 - 30 of 86 comments

Hi, I'm in Canberra, planted Salsify some years ago, now it grows like a weed in the garden, which is fine, since we keep eating it! You can buy them from and We peel and chop, then boil them in water, with lemon juice and salt, like artichoke hearts. After the water reduces, we add cream, and bake with a layer of cheese (au gratin style). The flavour of the roots is better before the plant starts to make its flower in late spring. So harvest all through the cold weather. Our early spring is still pretty chilly. But seriously, I worried about how hard it might be to germinate when we first got them, now I can't stop them from self sowing. They seem to be germinating all year round!

- Anonymous

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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