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Light yellow flowers adorn the steppes and meadows of Russia in summer: this is a dubious goatbeard. The leaves and roots of the plant are endowed with rich taste and nutrients, they are used in various fields - from cooking to cosmetology. It will not be difficult to grow it with your own hands and use it for the necessary purposes. But first things first.
Botanical description of the species
Doubtful goatbeard (lat.Tragopogon dubius) is a biennial plant belonging to the genus Goatbeards (Tragopogon) of the Asteraceae family of the order of the Asterales. It is characterized by the following external features:
- height - from 30 cm to 1 m, less often - up to 1.5 m;
- root - pivotal;
- stems erect, simple or slightly branched, finely ribbed, glabrous, sometimes with slight pubescence near the base of the leaves;
- leaves are linear or linear-lanceolate, with whole edges without teeth and grooves, alternate, sessile;
- leaf length - 7-20 cm, width - 6-20 mm;
- at the bottom of the stems, the size of the leaves is larger than at the top;
- flowers are ligulate, bisexual, pale yellow;
- flowers have a feature characteristic of all goat barkers - a tuft, similar to a goatee;
- inflorescences in the form of baskets, up to 70 mm in length, located at the top of the stem and side branches, bloom in the morning and close in the late evening;
- inflorescence wrappers consist of 8-12 (rarely 16) leaves, which are significantly longer than the flowers themselves;
- the legs of the baskets are swollen with fruits;
- inflated peduncles, empty inside, up to 1.5 cm in diameter, thickened under the baskets in the form of a club.
The characteristic features of the dubious goatbeard are pale yellow flowers and inflorescences in the form of baskets
The flowering period of the dubious goatbeard is from May to August, fruiting occurs from June to September. Seed germination of this plant is up to 3 years.
Doubtful goatbeard grows mainly:
- in the steppe area;
- in the meadows;
- on the edges and slopes.
It grows much less often:
- in shrub groves;
- in pine forests;
- among thickets of weeds;
- on the roadside.
On the territory of Russia, this type of goat is characteristic of the Middle zone, in particular, the Chernozem region. In northern latitudes, the plant can be found extremely rarely.
The dubious goat is very unpretentious to growing conditions, and can calmly ascend even on soil poor in moisture. But to promote rich fruiting and excellent taste, it is better to plant it in fertile soil, with the obligatory regular irrigation with water.
The optimal time for sowing seeds is early spring. However, this can also be done in winter. Goat breeders are cold-resistant plants, so they will tolerate frost normally.
As for caring for a dubious goatbeard, here, too, without any surprises: weeding, loosening, if necessary - watering.
It is imperative to remove the peduncles from the first-year goatbeard. If you do not do this and allow them to bloom, you will have a negative effect on the nutritional value of the root: it will become tough and lose some of its taste.
The high concentration of starch and proteins in the roots of the dubious goatbeard makes it no less useful and nutritious than traditional cultivated vegetables. The root and stems with leaves are used for food. A significant drawback of the goatbeard as a food product is milky juice, which gives a sharp bitter taste.
The way to get rid of it is simple - soaking and then boiling in water, with the obligatory addition of salt. After that, the bitterness disappears, instead of it, the stems and roots acquire a sweetish taste. They are often used as a special ingredient in all kinds of salads, marinades, and creamy sauces. Dried leaves crushed into powder serve as an excellent addition to soups.
The roots, stems and leaves of the dubious goatbeard are widely used in cooking.
Unlike other species, the dubious goat is almost never used for medical purposes. Its main advantage is its high inulin content, which helps fight diabetes and stabilizes blood glucose levels.
Warning! Contraindications to the use of the plant may be allergies and intolerance to certain substances. In addition, it is not recommended for pregnant and lactating women, as well as for children under 3 years of age.
The dubious goat is used in the field of cosmetology. The finely chopped roots and ground parts are boiled, whipped into a gruel and applied to the face. Such masks relieve the skin from irritations and acne, nourish it with useful substances. A decoction of the leaves and stems of this plant serves as a dandruff remedy and nourishes the hair roots.
Doubtful goatbeard is a traditional plant of the steppe area, widespread in Central Russia. It is planted in winter or early spring, flowering from May to August, fruiting from June to September. The benefits of this plant are expressed in the use of roots and ground parts in cooking, professional cosmetology, and traditional medicine.