Weeds

Goatsbeard

(Western Salsify,Yellow Goat's Beard,Western Goat's Beard)

Goatsbeard
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Also known as Western Salsify, Yellow Goat's Beard or Western Goat's Beard. This un-branched, erect biennial (on occasion, annual) has grass-like leaves and the "puff-ball" seed head resembles that of a very large Dandelion. A very telltale sign of this plant is that, the leaves, stems and taproot exude a milky sap when damaged. The seeds are dispersed by the wind and germinate in the early summer or autumn. The germinating seed forms a basal rosette of grass-like, long ( up to 12 inches) and narrow (2mm) leaves. In the second year, the basal rosette of leaves produces an erect stem, which is thickest at the base. Yellow flowers are produced in June and July. They are produced singly at the end of the stems, similar to Dandelions. This plant occurs throughout most of the United States, but is most common in the West. It is primarily a weed of nursery crops, along roadsides and disturbed soils.