Tragopogon porrifolius. The salsify is fundamentally self-fertilizing but cross-fertilization with other sorts is common. It is actually able to cross-fertilize with the wild meadow salsify, Tragopogon pratense too, at least in Gotland, Sweden. Select good, uniform, un-branched, healthy roots with no tendencies towards runners and set 20 cm apart after harvesting in autumn or early in spring from your winter storage. The salsify winters well in the plot but not quite as well as the black salsify does. Humidity and sometimes voles are the greatest threats against both.
The stems grow at least a metre tall with beautiful purple-red flowers, which later change into large dandelion-like balls as the seeds ripen. The seeds ripen during a period of several weeks and must be harvested daily, largely from mid-July until the end of August. As ripe seeds easily blow away it is a good idea to harvest every afternoon before the ripe seeds become loose and go flying. Rub the bristles away and winnow the rubbish and unripe seeds. Fully ripe seeds keep well for 2-3 years.