Gardening Articles: Edibles :: Vegetables

All About Salsify

by National Gardening Association Editors

These unusual roots taste something like oysters, grow just like parsnips or carrots, and are members of the sunflower family. That may sound like an odd combination, but it all adds up to one terrific vegetable!

Growing Salsify

Salsify takes its time to reach maturity -- 120 to 150 days! Once you plant the seeds, tie a string around your finger so you don't forget they're out in your garden.

Even if you've never tried oysters, or if they aren't your favorite food, try some salsify. The delicate flavor and crisp texture may surprise you.

The key to delicious salsify is to leave it in the ground through a week of cool nights. In the North, you can wait until the ground thaws in the early spring to dig it up.


  • Mammoth Sandwich Island (120 days); this is the standard variety available in the United States. Roots are eight to nine inches long with creamy white flesh; quality improves after several frosts.

Our Mission in Action

Shop Our Holiday Catalog