Tragopogon dubius (Yellow Goat's Beard)
|Also known as:||Yellow Salsify, Fistulous Goat's-beard|
|Habitat:||sun; dry fields, along roads|
|Bloom season:||May - September|
|Plant height:||1 to 3 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Single flower at the top of the plant and at the end of the few branching stems. Flowers are up to 2 inches across with many pale lemon yellow dandelion-type ray flowers (petals). The (usually) 13 green bracts that surround the flower are much longer than the petals.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are grass-like blades, about ½ inch wide and up to 1 foot long, often folded lengthwise, toothless and hairless, gradually tapering to a pointed tip, clasping the stem. Stems are smooth, green or brownish, may branch near the base of the plant or have multiple flowering stems. The stems exude a milky sap when broken.
Yellow Goat's-beard is probably found in every county in Minnesota, though there are no official records for a handful of counties. It is not as aggressive as many other non-natives, though it does invade prairie habitat easily enough and is often found scattered in sunny locations. When the sun hits the seed head, it glistens with a pale bronze color and is quite attractive. A similar species, Tragopogon pratensis (Meadow Goat's-beard), also non-native, has brighter yellow flowers, bracts that are as long as or shorter than the rays, and leaves that curl at the tip.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Long Lake Regional Park, New Brighton, MN. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?