A Ring of Gold


Sumner, United States

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Artist's Description

Yellow Goat’s Beard found in an open wooded area near
my home in northeast Iowa. USA

Tragopogon dubius (Yellow Goat’s Beard)
Plant Info Also known as: Yellow Salsify, Fistulous Goat’s-beard
Genus: Tragopogon
Family: Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle: biennial
Origin: Europe
Habitat: sun; dry fields, along roads
Bloom season: May – September
Plant height: 1 to 3 feet

Flower: Flower shape: 7+petals
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.

The stem just below the bracts thickens to nearly as wide as the receptacle. The flowers open on sunny mornings and close by noon. The closed flowers resemble a thin pod, up to 5 inches long.
Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: simple

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.

Seed head is a giant dandelion-type plume, 3 inches in diameter, with light brown hairs attached to the seed.

Yellow Goat’s-beard 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

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