All About Salsify

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.

Other articles in this series:
1. History of Root Crops
2. All About Horseradish
3. Beet Varieties
4. Carrot Varieties
5. Radish Varieties
6. Celeriac - Lazy Man's Celery
7. Turnip and Rutabaga Varieties
8. Parsnip Varieties
9. All About Salsify ← you're on this article right now
10. Selecting Root Crop Seeds
11. Planning Your Root Crop Garden
12. How Root Crops Grow
13. Carrot Essentials
14. Parsnip Essentials
15. Radish Essentials
16. Turnip Essentials

This article is a part of our Vegetable Gardening Guide for Other Root Crops / Getting Started.

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