Western Salsify

    Tragopogon dubius

    western salsify

    Western salsify (Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University,

    western salsify

    Western salsify growth habit (Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service,

    western salsify

    Western salsify seeds (Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia,


    • plant with upright growth and long slender leaves that grow 2 – 12 inches long and 1/4 inch wide
    • flower stalks are hollow and grow 1 – 3 feet high
    • a yellow, starburst-shaped flower head forms at the tip of each stem; green
    • sepals extend beyond ray flowers and stems are enlarged directly below flower heads
    • flower heads mature to large white, globe-shaped fluffy seed heads
      each brown seed is carried in the wind by a parachute of white fluff


    • commonly grows in planting beds

    Life Cycle

    • biennial that produces grass-like rosette the first year and stalks and flower heads the second year
    • foliage dies back to the ground with fall frost\
    • flower production occurs mid-spring through early fall; blooms are open during sunny mornings and close by afternoon

    IPM Recommendations

    • Hand-pull plants in planting beds prior to seed maturation.
    • Apply a mulch layer 3 inches deep on planting beds to reduce seed germination.
    • Apply an appropriate post-emergent herbicide directly to target weeds.