Black Salsify, also called Scorzonera and Black Oyster Plant, is a cold hardy perennial in the aster and lettuce family grown for its thin root with rough black skin over white flesh that can grow 1'-3' long if it has the room. Take care when harvesting, as the roots are delicate and snap easily. Any root left behind will re-grow!
It would be fun for a blind taste test, as the edible yellow dandelion-like flower petals smell like cocoa, the edible flower buds taste like okra, and the roots taste like oyster, asparagus, or artichoke, turning sweeter and earthier after a frost.
The stems and long, wide leaves that can grow 3'-4' tall are also edible. Delicious roasted, mashed, grilled, and pickled, or simply sautéed in a little butter for a rich, unusual side dish.
- Sweet, earthy flavor
- Roots can grow 1'-3' long if they have the room!
- Prefers cooler weather
- All parts are edible
- Cold hardy
SEED PLANTING TIPS
- Botanical name: Scorzonera hispanica
- Life cycle: Herbaceous perennial
- Hardiness zones: 5-9
- Planting season: Spring, fall
- Days to maturity: 100-120 days
- Depth to plant seeds: 1/2" deep
- Days to germinate (sprout): 7-28 days
- Germination soil temps: 60F-75F
- Spacing between plants: 3"-4" apart
- Spacing between rows: 18"-24" apart
- # of plants per sq. ft.: Appx. 16 plants per sq. ft.
- Soil types: Sandy, loamy, moist, well-drained
- Soil pH: 6.5-7.0
- Sun needs: Full sun
- Water needs: Average
- Cold stratify: No
- Frost tolerant: Yes
- Heat tolerant: Yes
- Drought tolerant: Yes
- Deer resistant: No
- Culinary use: Yes
Good Companion Plants: Beet, Carrot, Kohlrabi, Parsnip, Potato, Rosemary, Rutabaga, Sage, Thyme, Turnip
⚠️ Always consult with your doctor and primary care provider before using or consuming herbs, flowers, seeds and/or plants for medicinal purposes.
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