Annual Giant is an excellent variety with long, smooth and uniform roots of dark color. Preparation similar to asparagus.
Scorzonera 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 purple salsify (Tragopogon porrifolius), also in the sunflower family.
The black salsify plant has heads of yellow ray flowers. The thin black taproot grows up to one meter long and up to 2 cm in diameter. It has a black skin with white internal flesh.
The black salsify is considered nutritious: it contains proteins, fats, asparagine, choline, laevulin, as well as minerals such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, and vitamins A, B1, E and C. It also contains the polysaccharide inulin, conferring a mild sweetness that is suitable for diabetics.
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.
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.
In British gardens it is common to profit from its perennial character by leaving it in the ground until its roots have grown to sufficient size for harvesting; this can take two years. Commercially, it can be grown best as the year's second crop of a field.
Information source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scorzonera_hispanica
Genus - Scorzonera
Species - hispanica
Variety - Giant
Common name - Spanish Black Salsify
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Hardiness zones - 6 - 10
Plant type - Annual Herb, flower
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acid, neutral, alkaline
Soil type - Rich,loose
Water requirements - Average
Landscape uses - Edible roots and leaves, herb, flower
Sow from March to end of April 1-2 cm deep.
Germination time - 2-3 weeks.
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