Duplex is a uniform heavy yielding variety, widely grown in Continental Europe. A heritage vegetable with dark skinned white roots 20-30 cm long.
Scorzonera is cultivated for its edible root, said to taste like asparagus. The whole plant is edible.
The Scorzonera sweet is a crystallized dessert made from Scorzonera in Évora, Alentejo, Portugal. It is listed on the Ark of Taste.
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 glycoside inulin, conferring a mild sweetness that is suitable for diabetics.
The growing plant is said to repel carrot root fly from carrots growing nearby.
Sow spring in situ. If the weather is dry, it will be advisable to water the seed in well or germination will be delayed. The seed can also be sown in situ in August.
Succeeds in any soil in sun or light shade. Prefers a light soil.
Root - cooked. A sweet agreeable flavour. The root is usually eaten at the end of its first year of growth, but it can be grown on for a second year without becoming tough. The root is rich in inulin - this is a starch that is not easily digested by humans and so generally passes straight through the digestive system and is excreted. Inulin can cause flatulence in some people.
Leaves - raw. The tender young shoots are usually eaten in early spring.
Flower buds - raw. Added to salads. The petals have their own distinctive flavour and can also be added to salads.
The roasted root is used as a coffee substitute.