The genus name Tragopogon comes from two Greek words meaning
"goat beard". A related plant is Tragopogon porrifolius.
It is very similar, except that it has a purple flower head.
The salsify plants were introduced from Europe by early settlers,
as a food source. Their roots have a flavor somewhat like oysters.
They have rapidly spread over the continent, and are now common
weeds along roadsides and ditch banks.
The fruiting heads are like those of a dandelion, but much larger --
about 4 inches in diameter. They are very showy and conspicuous.