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.