Scorzonera – black salsify

ScorzoneraScorzonera hispanica, black salsify or Spanish salsify, also known as black oyster plant, serpent root, viper’s herb, viper’s grass or simply scorzonera, is a perennial member of the genus Scorzonera in the sunflower family (Asteraceae), cultivated as a root vegetable in the same way as salsify (Tragopogon porrifolius), also in the sunflower family.

Black salsify is hitherto mainly a European crop. Belgium, France and the Netherlands are the world’s largest producers of black salsify; significant amounts are also produced in Germany. In the latter country, ‘Hoffmanns Schwarzer Pfahl’ is a cultivar widely used by commercial growers, while ‘Duplex’ is popular among small-scale gardeners. Some other cultivars are widely available, but because it was rather a localized crop before being produced for a wider market there are comparatively few landraces.

Harvesting is somewhat complicated, as the roots are quite fragile, and broken material loses freshness. Entire roots will keep fresh all winter if stored in a cool dark place, due to their robust black corky skin. In root cellars they may keep fresh well into springtime. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Growing scorzonera in Southern Australia

I have to admit – I love scorzonera. It might look like old sticks but it is delicious, tasting like artichoke heart. If you didn’t know what it was you would never realise it is edible but once you try it you will want to grow it in your own garden. This vegetable is a […]

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Growing scorzonera in Southern Australia

I have to admit – I love scorzonera. It might look like old sticks but it is delicious, tasting like artichoke heart. If you didn’t know what it was you would never realise it is edible but once you try it you will want to grow it in your own garden. This vegetable is a […]

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