TRAGOPOGON pratensis

Goat's Beard,
Jack Go To Bed at Noon,
John Go To Bed at Noon



Height: 10-22" (25-60cm)
Flowering Time: Summer
Flower Colour: Yellow

Botanical Classification:


Angiospermae (Angiosperms)
Subclass: Dicotyledonae (Dicotyledons)
Superorder: Asteridae (Daisy Superorder)
Order: Asterales (Daisy Order)
Family: Asteraceae (Daisy Family)
Genus: Tragopogon (Goat's Beard)
Species: pratensis (of the field)
Tragopogon pratensis

Tragopogon pratensis could be mistaken for any other yellow dandelion-type flower at first glance, but a closer look will be enough to identify it. The flowers are similar to those of the Catsears, but the blunt petals have a black blotch, and the eight points of the calyx are much longer than the flower, giving it a starry look. The stem is greyish, sometimes branching, with the stem leaves clasping the stem. The leaves are greyish and fleshy, rather like those of an onion. The seedhead is also most conspicuous, being a very large creamy dandelion clock, up to 3" across. Tragopogon pratensis prefers sunny, open sites. The common name indicates that it only opens in the morning when the sun is out.

Tragopogon pratensis was used in traditional medicine for kidney problems, as an expectorant and to cleanse the skin. The roots, shoots and buds can be eaten cooked or in salads.

A similar plant, Tragopogon porrifolius (Salsify), has dull purple flowers, and is grown as a vegetable for its edible roots.


Harvesting and Growing from Seed:


(10 days)

Seed Pod There is no seedpod. The seeds are held on a large fluffy seedhead.

Seed The seeds are large brown and woody. They are slightly curved, with a ribbed pattern and thin
stalk attaching them to their parachute. There are many seeds on a seedhead.

Seedling The seedling has two long narrow greyish leaves, looking like an onion.

(You can check the meaning of any technical terms new to you in the Botany section of the site)
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