sal·​si·​fy ˈsal-sə-fē How to pronounce salsify (audio)
plural salsifies
: a European biennial composite herb (Tragopogon porrifolius) with a long fusiform edible root

called also oyster plant, vegetable oyster

Examples of salsify in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the early 1900s, three species of these wildflowers - the western salsify (T. dubius), the meadow salsify (T. pratensis), and the oyster plant (T. porrifolius) - were introduced to the United States from Europe. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 19 Dec. 2011 First: Seared jumbo sea scallops with parsnip potato puree, crispy salsify and salsa verde. Marc Bona, cleveland, 28 Feb. 2021 Its dome of Italian meringue, concealing salsify ice cream atop a disk of spice cake, gets doused in rum and set on fire, a blaze of blue. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, 6 Mar. 2020 Also blinis with caviar, made to order on a spirit stove, salad of salsify and chopped egg, custard tart, Billecart-Salmon rosé. John Lanchester, The New Yorker, 26 Mar. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'salsify.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French salsifis, from Italian salsefica, sassefrica

First Known Use

circa 1706, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of salsify was circa 1706

Dictionary Entries Near salsify

Cite this Entry

“Salsify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

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