Tag Archives: yellow goatsbeard

Tragopogon, Grass Rooting

20 Nov

During July I seen a large area of Tragopogon pratensis which seemed suitable for gathering this plant if I can recall the location for next spring, this post should help:) Often this plant grows very well along roads and railways, the type of places you (do not) want to gather food from. Occasionally T prantensis will also grow in grassy areas along brooks & rivers which can provide for some safe gatherings depending on what is upstream. So since I’m right here right now actually searching for another plant of course lets see if I can find some T pratensis plants amongst the grasses.

If you look at the green plant leaves to the left of the center of the photo you will see the most dominant plant here which is a grass I can’t identify and to the right of center is a Tragopogon with very similar looking leaves though they are more numerous and you can circle them with your hand and follow them back to root.

Usually my main edible interest in this plant are the early spring growth of stems and leaves, today well into November with the temperature near 0 C the greens are less appealing to me so I think it will be time to dig a little deeper and see what the late fall roots look like. The more numerous and larger leaves should point to the largest roots.

These roots were a lot easier to remove from the soil than I expected. Many of these roots the size of a medium carrot. The leaves still are edible and nutritious but are most tender towards the root.

These are one of the better tasting wild roots, as good as most garden vegetables. Like Jerusalem Artichoke and Burdock, Tragopogon pratensis is a member of the Asteraceae family and it also contains inulin in its roots so many may get windy after a good feed of them. Tragopogon pratensis roots boiled for 5 to 7 minutes are very tender, I added butter and a little lemon juice, salt and pepper, very good.

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The (yellow goatsbeard) is always greener, naturally

15 May

Usually if you find one yellow goatsbeard, there will probably be hundreds to thousands close by. The trick is to return to an area where you have noticed they were blooming in the previous summer or fall.

This photo here highlights the issue, yellow goatsbeard is all but indistinguishable from many of the meadow grasses, so walk slowly and only look a few feet in front or to the sides and often there will be a joyous realization you have entered a place where the grass is never greener or tastier. 

Enjoy your gatherings as this must be one of the easiest wild edible plants to collect as it is very similar to being in a very pleasant garden, where you are relaxed in a gentle focus.

Here we see the brown latex yellow goatsbeard releases when cut, it has a mild bitterness which is pleasant if tasted raw. I cut the white sections of these plants shown here which measures around 3 inches and steamed them and simply ate these with butter, salt & pepper. I’m somewhat surprised Tragopogon pratensis & also T dubius are not already commerical crops. I suspect it is a shelf life issue as these are comparable to the best items in any vegetable market I’ve been to. If may also be the fact this relative of Salsify has a smaller root than the famous European plant, thought the secret to yellow goatsbeard are the parts above the roots, so for now lets enjoy this wild one.

The remaining upper leaves can be cut into small pieces and added to salads or you could do as we did today and make a (cream of yellow goatsbeard) which is even tastier than it sounds. Enjoy these common gifts presented naturally to you. chow for now

A family resemblance

4 May

I’m in my driveway and over against the apartment building 15 feet away is one of my favorite wild edible plants standing taller and nestled amongst another very wholesome edible and medicinal plant. (Yellow goatsbeard with some Dandelions) Since the location they are appearing in is one from which I have no interest in gathering from I thought it best to at least get a few photos to share with you before my neighbour clips these plants. If you’re a person who enjoys gathering wild food it is a valuable asset to know your plants in all their stages of development, as often you will find unexpected plants while searching for other plants and mushrooms and may choose to gather some seeds or roots for introducing in other locations.

Yellow goatsbeard (Tragopogon pratensis) is also very similar to the vegetable Salsify and although the roots are alike I personally prefer to eat only the early shoots leaving the roots to produce another stem which will also produce flowers and seeds  during the early fall. Below is a photo of one from a harvestable area and in good condition for eating. So now you can see this plant in 2 different stages the shoot stage (below) and the flowering stage advanced by the sunny apartment foundation (above).

The taste of Yellow goatsbeard either raw or cooked is very mild, something like green beans. There are many other possible ways to enjoy eating this lovely plant, which in my area is common along river meadows and in semi tall grassy places and I’ve noticed they tend to grow along the edge of blueberry fields and roads, of course don’t collect in areas where you suspect potential toxins. Beyond eating the shoots you could sprout the seeds, roast the roots for coffee, cook the roots like (Salsify also known as Oyster plant), eat the flowers and cut up leaves in salads and they along with being tasty are also nutritious like their little brother Dandelion.

Last photo is of young caraway greens, I usually dry my caraway seeds I collect from the wild in my shed so now I have plenty of caraway plants surrounding my indicator garden  and they made their way over just a few feet from the yellow goatsbeard plants in this post, all kinds of goodies around. ciao