Scorzonera austriaca

Thank you again to beranekp@Flickr for contributing one of his photographs to BPotD (original image | Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool). Perhaps like me, you’ll also find this photograph provoking some needed cheer.

Scorzonera is a genus of about 175 species, distributed throughout the Mediterranean region and into central Asia. One member of the genus is cultivated for food production, Scorzonera hispanica, or Spanish salsify / black salsify (though not a true salsify).

Twenty-eight species are native to Europe, including the species featured in today’s photograph, Scorzonera austriaca. Austrian vipergrass (though, again, it is not a grass), is distributed across Europe, from France east to Asian countries bordering Europe. This perennial species reaches 40cm in height, and grows in well-draining sites (dry pastures, stony places, etc.). Flowering heads are borne individually on unbranched stems.

For additional photographs, see Scorzonera austriaca on or via Calphotos (including a photo of a plant in fruit): Scorzonera austriaca.

Scorzonera austriaca

9 responses to “Scorzonera austriaca”

  1. Bonnie

    What a happy flower!

  2. Sara Jane

    What a relief to snow, snow, snow!

  3. Arthur

    Very nice. Summons up some fond memories of time spent in Stadt Scleiden, sitting on a deck overlooking several fields which had this species along portions of the borders. A cool Eifel bier, having a roasted chicken purchased from a vendor in Gemund and watching the developing lightning storms as the evening progressed…

  4. phillip

    arthur…very visual…and tasty too…!!

  5. elizabeth a airhart

    when one goes up to botony cz click on
    the union jack and the writeups will be english
    happy flowers and yes some cheer is most welcome
    if apples were pears
    and peaches were plums
    and the rose had a different name
    if tigers were bears
    and fingers were thumbs
    i’d love you just the same
    happy valentines day daniel and to evryone

  6. wendy

    If these flowers are anything like those of Scorzonera hispanica they won’t just look cheerful they will offer a cheering scent as well. Much is made of Cosmos astrosanguineus, but for the scent of chocolate, black salsify flowers are even better.

  7. Connie

    Happy happy cheerful cheerful-
    Thanks for this sunny photo- and for the Red List link from which I learn, too.
    Here is a link I found for cooking Scorzonera- I was looking for a photo of the Salsify I grow, which is about 3′ tall and has a purple flower. The seedhead is like a Dandelion blow on steroids- very symmetrical and sturdy enough to use in dried arrangements if sprayed with hairspray.

  8. Irma

    In Sweden the blackroot is also called “poor man’s asparagus”. Peel it, put in i slightly acidic water and gently simmer. Serve with a buttersauce.

  9. Dennis

    I would describe the color as something between neon yellow and super chartreuse. Whatever it is, it holds your eye.

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