Western goat’s beard, or yellow salsify, is a smooth, hairless annual or biennial with one to several fleshy stalks. Flowerheads are surrounded by narrow greeen bracts, which are longer than the yellow ray florets. The stems are considerably thickened just below flowerheads, which are large and showy but close by noon on sunny days. Blooms May–July. Leaves narrowly linear, both basal and along the stem, the latter clasping and alternate. The seedheads are handsome and large, much like those of dandelion.
Similar species: A closely related plant, also called salsify or oyster plant (T. porrifolius), is very similar but has purple flowerheads and slightly broader leaves. Both species were introduced from Europe.