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Goatsbeard


    Scientific Names

    Goatsbeard
    Goatsbeard
    • Tragopogon pratensis L.
    • Compositae
    • Composite family

    Common Names

    ivyMeadow salsify
    ivyNoonday flower
    ivyNoon flower
    ivyNoontide
    ivyStar of Jerusalem
    ivyYellow goatsbeard
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    Parts Usually Used

    Root
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    Description of Plant(s) and Culture

    Yellow goatsbeard is a biennial or perennial plant; the slender, fleshy taproot produces a light green, succulant stem from 1-3 feet high, containing a bitter milky juice. The alternate, grasslike, clasping leaves have curled margins and taper to long pointed, backward-bending tips. The stem bears a solitary yellow flower head with ray flowers that unfold early in the morning and close up at midday.

    Other varieties: Purple goatsbeard or salsify (T. porrifolius) is a related larger species with uncurled leaves and purple flowers. It is perhaps more widespread than yellow goatsbeard, since it is often cultivated for its edible, oyster-flavored root. The root also has some diuretic properties, but they are weaker than those of yellow goatsbeard.

    Aruncus dioicus is also called goat’s beard.
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    Where Found

    Grows in pastures, fields, meadows, and waste places of Europe, from where it has come to be naturalized in southern Canada and the northern part of the United States.
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    Medicinal Properties

    Diuretic, stomachic
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    Legends, Myths and Stories

    There is another herb that is called goat’s beard (Aruncus dioicus) of the Rose family. Other than having yellow flowers, this herb has no similarity with Yellow goatsbeard (Tragopogon pratensis) or Salsify (Tragopogon porrifolius).

    Salsify (T. porrifolius) is sometimes spelled “salsafy”. Grown as a potherb for its roots. Harvested, stored and cooked much as carrots or beets. Salsify or oyster-plant, yields a juice, that when chewed is said to aid digestion.
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    Uses

    Primarily used as a remedy for urinary and water-retention problems, the root decoction has been used for lack of appetite, heartburn, and digestive difficulties.
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    Bibliography

    Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

    Buy It! The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

    Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

    Buy It! Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

    Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature's Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

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