Heirloom & Perennial Ltd

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Tragopogon porrifolius, Salsify - Sandwich Island


Sandwich Island is an heirloom cultivar from the 1800s. Long white roots 18-30 cm with a delicate flavour. Cultivate as for parsnips, harvesting roots from September onwards.

Grows well with mustard.

Succeeds in ordinary garden soils, including heavy clays. Plants do not grow well in stony soils. Prefers an open situation and a cool moist root run.

Sow in situ as early in the year as possible, in March if weather conditions permit. Seed sowings often fail unless the soil is kept moist until the seedlings are growing well.

Salsify is a cleansing food with a beneficial effect upon the liver and gallbladder.

Edible uses

Root - raw or cooked. The young root can be grated in salads, older roots are best cooked. The flavour is mild and sweet, and is said to resemble oysters. The roots are harvested as required from October until early spring, or can be harvested in late autumn and stored until required.

Young shoots - raw or cooked. The new growth is used in spring. A sweet taste.

Flowering shoots - raw or cooked. Used like asparagus. Flowers - raw. Added to salads. The sprouted seeds can be added to salads or sandwiches. The root latex is used as a chewing gum.


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