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For the vegetable, see Scorzonera hispanica.
Scorzonera purpurea rosea0.jpg
Scorzonera purpurea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Scorzonera
See text

Scorzonera is a genus of flowering plants in the aster family, Asteraceae. It is part of the subfamily Lactucoideae, the tribe Lactuceae, and the subtribe Scorzonerinae. It contains about 175 species.[1][2] They are distributed in Europe, Asia,[2] and Africa.[3] Its center of diversity is in the Mediterranean.[4] Well-known species include the edible black salsify (Scorzonera hispanica). Scorzonera tau-saghyz is a source of natural rubber.[5]

Scorzonera is recorded as a food plant for the larva of the Nutmeg, a species of moth.


Species include:[6]


One possible origin of the genus name is the French scorzonère ("viper’s grass").[2]

Secondary metabolites[edit]

Some Scorzonera species contain lactones, including the sesquiterpene lactones known as guaianolides.[8] Flavonoids found in Scorzonera include apigenin, kaempferol, luteolin, and quercetin.[9] Other secondary metabolites reported from the genus include caffeoylquinic acids, coumarins, lignans, stilbenoids, and triterpenoids.[10] One unique class of stilbenoid derivative was first isolated from Scorzonera humilis. They were named the tyrolobibenzyls after Tyrol in the eastern Alps, where the plant was collected.[11]


  1. ^ Bremer, K. (1994). Asteraceae: Cladistics and Classification. Timber Press, Portland. ISBN 978-0881922752. 
  2. ^ a b c Scorzonera. Flora of North America.
  3. ^ a b Duran, A. and E. Hamzaoglu. (2004). A new species of Scorzonera (Asteraceae) from South Anatolia, Turkey. Biologia-Bratislava 59(1), 47-50.
  4. ^ Karaer, F. and F. Celep. (2007). Rediscovery of Scorzonera amasiana Hausskn. and Bornm. – A threatened endemic species in Turkey. Bangladesh Journal of Botany 36(2), 139-44.
  5. ^ Buranov, A. U. and B. J. Elmuradov. (2010). Extraction and characterization of latex and natural rubber from rubber-bearing plants. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 58(2), 734-43.
  6. ^ "The Plant List". Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Parolly, G. and N. Kilian. (2003). Scorzonera karabelensis (Compositae), a new species from SW Anatolia, with a key to the subscapigerous Scorzonera species in Turkey. Willdenowia 33 327-35.
  8. ^ Zidorn, C. (2010). "Sesquiterpene lactones and their precursors as chemosystematic markers in the tribe Cichorieae of the Asteraceae". Phytochemistry (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) 69: 2270–96. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2008.06.013. ISSN 0031-9422. 
  9. ^ Sareedenchai, V. and C. Zidorn (2010). "Flavonoids as chemosystematic markers in the tribe Cichorieae of the Asteraceae". Biochemical Systematics and Ecology (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) 38: 935–57. doi:10.1016/j.bse.2009.09.006. ISSN 0305-1978. 
  10. ^ Jehle, M., et al. (2010). "Natural products from Scorzonera aristata (Asteraceae)". Natural Product Communications (Westerville, OH; USA) 5: 725–27. ISSN 1934-578X. 
  11. ^ Zidorn, C., et al. (2000). "Tyrolobibenzyls ‒ Novel secondary metabolites from Scorzonera humilis". Helvetica Chimica Acta (Zürich; Switzerland) 83: 2920–25. ISSN 0018-019X.