Tragopogon dubius Scop. - Barba di becco a tromba : presenta un fusto molto ingrossato all’altezza dei capolini. Le squame dell’involucro sono più numerose (fino a 12). Si trova in luoghi erbosi aridi e su calcare. In Italia è rara.
Tragopogon dubius (Western Salsify, etc) is a species of Salsify
native to southern and central Europe and western Asia and found as
far north and west as northern France. Although it has been reported
from Kashmir and India, recent evidence suggests that specimens from
these areas may be a different species. Western Salsify has been
introduced into North America where it has become widespread, being
reported from all the continental United States except for a few in
the far south-east, and all provinces of Canada except Newfoundland
and the northern territories.
Like most salsifies, the Western Salsify grows as an annual or occasionally biennial forb, reaching a height of typically 20-60 cm but sometimes almost a metre. It grows typically in warm, sheltered spots with moist soil. Its yellow flower is 4-6 cm in diameter and is likely to be seen in late spring or early summer. The flowers open early in the morning and often close up by late afternoon. Later the plant forms a seed head that resembles that of the dandelions but is distinctly larger. The seeds themselves (known as achenes) are 2-4 cm long but featherweight, weighing about 8 mg each on average. There is some natural variation between the central and peripheral achenes in the seedhead, with the peripheral ones being generally darker and heavier, and having a higher concentration of phenolic compounds; this may enhance their survival potential.
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