Montana Outdoors

June 11, 2018

Yellow Salsify

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 9:13 am

Yellow Salisfy

Yellow Salsify

Yellow Salsify~ tragopogon dubius

The development of this flower is very interesting. Years ago I was fortunate to capture the three stages of its life cycle in one photo (the second photo). First, the closed pod appears and inside it the flower develops: suddenly the pod opens and the yellow flower appears. During its flower stage it closes at night and on dark or rainy days, and re-opens the next day. At the final maturity of the flower it closes, and inside the pod the seeds develop, after which it opens one last time and the seed head appears to allow the wind to spread the little parachutes of seeds.


  1. I love the design of this one. I’m sure I wouldn’t have noticed it if I were out walking, but with your photos, I can look at the intricate designs and patterns of flowers. Some of them are quite wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — June 11, 2018 @ 12:52 pm

    • They are quite common, widespread and plentiful and the color, as well as the shape of the seed head is always nice to see.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — June 11, 2018 @ 7:03 pm

  2. It’s the same version we have here and I was just getting some photos of it the other day. Here it closes at noon which is a bit frustrating because that means weekends are my only chance to see it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — June 11, 2018 @ 3:35 pm

  3. Very pretty flower and with an interesting growth process!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Julie — June 11, 2018 @ 7:54 pm

    • The exact way it transforms from blossom to seed head is unlike any other flower that I’ve seen.


      Comment by montucky — June 11, 2018 @ 8:38 pm

  4. Fascinating; the intricacies of nature’s design, and so well captured in your images!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by de Wets Wild — June 11, 2018 @ 8:19 pm

    • Wildflowers have so many vastly different strategies for their life cycles. It’s amazing to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — June 11, 2018 @ 8:39 pm

  5. Such a cool flower -And what a cool photo to capture all three cycles at once like that- very cool 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Dreadlocks and Butterflies — June 12, 2018 @ 3:22 am

    • It’s a very common flower, but when you look at it closely and get to know it it’s amazing.


      Comment by montucky — June 12, 2018 @ 9:03 am

  6. What a lucky find in that second image. The seed head looks a lot like a Dandelion.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Vicki — June 12, 2018 @ 7:14 am

    • They use the same seed-spreading strategy as the dandelion but on a much larger scale. The seed head on a dandelion is about 1.5 inches in diameter: on the salsify, it is about 5 inches and the Salsify grows 2 to 3 feet tall.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — June 12, 2018 @ 9:10 am

      • I think a plant I photographed along the river sounds like Salsify (with their large seed head).

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Vicki — June 13, 2018 @ 4:18 pm

        • Could well be. I haven’t found a place where I can see the world wide distribution, but they are widespread and common here..

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — June 13, 2018 @ 4:30 pm

  7. Awesome, unique capture, Terry!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by bayphotosbydonna — June 12, 2018 @ 10:11 am

  8. I remember that second photo from last year, so cool that you captures all the phases

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Candace — June 12, 2018 @ 8:31 pm

    • That was a rather rare find. I wish I could find settings like that for other plants too.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — June 12, 2018 @ 8:48 pm

  9. Our native “dandelions” go through much the same process, although I’m not sure if multiple days are involved. Every article I’ve found says only that they open in the morning and close by noon. I have seen that. For quite some time I wondered why fields filled with the flowers “disappeared” in the afternoon. Eventually, I figured it out. Now, I need to track some flowers next spring and see if they open and close multiple times.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by shoreacres — June 15, 2018 @ 7:07 am

    • Salisify is still in its blooming period here. I will try to track them and see what they do. The next few days will be dark and rainy and I suspect they will mostly stay closed. They are also a flower that tracks the sun. Perhaps they close in mid day because that has caused them to have stiff necks!


      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2018 @ 10:44 pm

  10. […] on blogs after two weeks of travel and family time, I discovered a similar puffball in a post from Montana Outdoors, together with a photo showing yellow salsify in bud and in flower. Eventually, I learned that the […]

    Liked by 1 person

    Pingback by That Montana-Missouri Connection | Lagniappe — June 15, 2018 @ 9:15 pm

  11. Heard about your site from Linda at ‘Shoreacres’.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by GP Cox — June 16, 2018 @ 4:51 am

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