While on a trip to Roanoke, Virginia, I was amazed at the sight of baseball-softball-sized seed heads that looked like dandelion heads. I knew that we were traveling in a limestone soil area, but what was this balloon-sized dandelion scattered in the fields along the highway? Several years later I ran across the answer: I found the flowering Goat's-beard (Tragopogon dubius) in a field near Markham in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.
This plant is known as an invasive species. It is also called Yellow Salsify by gardeners.
(Also see this photograph in larger format.)
Copyright © 2006 William T. Hathaway.