Series: "Wild flowers of Crete"
Tragopogon porrifolius is a more robust plant than the tragopogon hybridus in the image I posted yesterday. T. porrifolius is a common biennial wildflower, native to Mediterranean regions of Europe but introduced elsewhere. The plant grows to around 120cm in height. As with other Tragopogons, its stem is largely unbranched, and the leaves are somewhat grasslike. It exudes a milky juice from the stems. The flower head is about 5cm across, and each is surrounded by green bracts which are as long as or slightly longer than the petals (technically, the ligules of the ray flowers). The flowers are hermaphroditic, and pollination is by insects.
The root, and sometimes the young shoots, of T. porrifolius are used as a vegetable, and historically the plant was cultivated for that purpose; it is mentioned by classical authors such as Pliny the Elder. The taste is said to resemles the taste of oysters. (but I prefer making images of these beautiful plants instead of eating them ...)
Image: Spili (Crete) - 08/04/2010
© Johan Dierckx
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All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.
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