Dipsacus fullonum, National Bison Range

Dipsacus fullonum “Fuller’s Teasel” Dipsacaceae with frost

National Bison Range, MT
October 26, 2013
Robert Niese

Here’s a family that you don’t see too often in the Pacific Northwest! Sometimes grouped with the Caprifoliaceae, Dipsacaceae has members that are native to the Old World only. Here in western North America, we get two invasive species – the Teasel and the Bluebutton (Knautia arvensis). In spite of being quite abundant in some areas (like the low basins of the north-eastern side of the Bison Range), I’ve never had the opportunity to examine these plants while they’re in flower. I’ve always just assumed they were some kind of Asteraceae! When it comes to natural history, there’s always more to learn!

Tragopogon dubius “Western Salsify/Goat’s-beard” Asteraceae

Missoula, MT
October 18, 2013
Robert Niese

This invasive weed is common throughout the eastern pinelands of the PNW and its giant, dandelion-like infructescences are easy to spot, even in late fall. The thick tuberous roots of this salsify, like its cultivated cousin T. porrifolius, are edible and apparently taste like artichoke hearts when prepared properly