Yellow Goat’s Beard


My posts including photos taken in the summer are still trickling out, and here is another from my only camping trip of the year. Although the top of Chinook Pass was still cloaked in snow, wildflowers could be found in the lower elevations around our campground. Here is the first of several I will eventually publish featuring wildflower.

Yellow Goat's Beard

Yellow goat’s beard, also know as western salsify (Tragopogon dubius), has dager-like bracts that are noticeably longer than the ray florets which grow over them. Western salsify is not native to North America, yet it is found in all but 5 US states. The seed head is similar to that of dandelions, although it is much larger and has some tan in it, rather than the pure white of the dandelion. Perhaps, like the prolific dandelion, the success of the yellow goat’s beard is due to its ability to infiltrate from above.

Tragopogon dubius

Western Salsify Seed HeadWhile putting this post together, it occurred to me that I had photographed a seed head back in August of 2010 while bicycle touring. At the time, I didn’t know what it was, but I took a photo because of the immense seed heads. This image was shot shortly after crossing the border from British Columbia into Washington State.

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6 Responses to Yellow Goat’s Beard

  1. Rick, for some reason the first shot isn’t showing for me. I really like the 2nd and 3rd shots. What an interesting wildflower! Just think with your new camera, you’re doing to be able to get right on top of that seed head and peer right into the center!


  2. We have the eastern version here that looks much the same, but with different bracts. I’m not seeing your first picture either.


  3. Finn Holding says:

    We have very similar flower over here in the UK called ‘Jack go to bed at noon’ (Tragopogon pratensis) which has reared it’s lovely head in several of my posts, the most recent one of which was here: ‘’. The seed heads on our Tragopogon are also huge, do the flowers of yours close up at mid day too


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