Salsify is the common name for Tragopogon porrifolius, a biennial grown mainly for its edible root. It is also known as oyster plant or vegetable oyster for its oyster-like flavor.
Salsify can grow in almost any soil as long as it has full sun. Seeds are planted in the spring and the root may be harvested during its first autumn. If left until a second year, it will produce flower shoots which may also be eaten, if harvested while young.
The root is used in stews, and meat pies and meatloaf; boiled, it can be a vegetable accompaniment. The shoots are eaten raw or lightly cooked in salads, and may also be pickled.