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Flower or Weed?

Posted by JohnFromPerryCoPA zone 6 scPA (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 14, 05 at 9:20

This year a "volunteer" that could be a weed showed up in my flower beds. I know a picture is worth a 1000 words, but I will try to describe this interesting plant in less. The foliage is a blue-green - somewhat like that of a carnation (we did have carnations planted in the area in the past). The foliage is tall - perhaps 18-24 inches. At the end of the flower stalks is an elongated capsule that opens to a nice yellow flower - somewhat like a dandelion flower. When the flower goes to seed, it forms a 3-inch fluff-puff ball similar to a dandelion seed ball which the wind will break apart to spread. Could it be one of the parent plants of the blue carnations, if the carnation was a hybrid? The plant is interesting and unusual with the blue-green foliage, the yellow flowers and the large, puffy seed ball. Any ideas?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Flower or Weed?

Sounds like giant goatsbeard (Tragopogon Major) or salsify (Tragopogon porrifolius) both look like that. The giant puffballs are nice in dried arrangements whae sprayed with hair spray to keep them intact.


RE: Flower or Weed?

Very interesting. Thanks George! Here is a response (a quick one as well) from the National Home Gargening Club (NHGC) website Flower Forum:

What you have is a wild flower called "meadow salsify" or "yellow goatsbeard", sometimes called John-go-to-bed-at-noon because the flower head closes at midday. The greek generic name is TRAPOPOGON. I like them very much.

RE: Flower or Weed?

I have had this in my garden for several years. When the first one appeared, I loved it, even encouraged it--but it is just too happy in my garden and has since tried to take over. Now, I pull it out every time I see it starting to come up.

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