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Salsify, Tragopogon porrifolius, Giant Dandelion

Coloursofnature

Balgownie Wollongong, Australia

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Artist's Description

I have a shot on RB which is my all time favourite called “jewels in the crown”. My mum found the giant dandelion over a year ago, only one small patch of them. Every week we would go to visit my Uncle in the nursing home at Penrith, NSW Australia, and we would search for these giant dandelions but never find them. This spring we diligently renewed our search for them and eventually found a very large area of them along a footpath and roadside in Picton NSW Australia. There were some freshly cut down stems on the ground where the property owner had mowed the front footpath. I spoke to the property owner to ask if I could take them with me. He said they were ugly and a nuisance. A few weeks later I took him a large photo of my “jewels in the crown” and he was very surprised to see how pretty it was. We scooped up the mowed stems and took the buds home. We gave them tender loving care and to our surprise, this purple flower opened instead of the dandelion. After about three days, the purple flower died and within a couple of days the dandelion emerged. I am so fascinated with these dandelions and it has taken me a 15 months to find out the name and background of this wonderful plant. They are approximately four times larger than a normal dandelion. The original location of the first one I found is adjacent to Mt Annan Botanic Gardens, NSW where they have been ‘naturalised’.
Taken with my Canon 40d and my canon Macro lens

*Tragopogon porrifolius
Family Asteraceae

Salsify

Herb to 1 m high with long taproot. Longevity to 2 years.

Flowers: Pale – deep purple, October – January.

Fruit: Achene to 15 mm long, with plumose pappus 15 – 25 mm long.

Seed: Wind dispersed.

Ecology

Native to Europe and Asia.
Weed of roadsides and grasslands
Occasional weed of grasslands at Mount Annan Botanic Garden
Asterisk * indicates exotic species naturalised at Mount Annan Botanic Garden

Artwork Comments

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  • Coloursofnature
  • rasnidreamer
  • Coloursofnature
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