Another possibility for a lovely, low water use plant, in the garden.
Eryngium yuccifolium (button eryngo, button snake-root, or rattlesnake master) is a common herbaceous perennial plant, native to the tallgrass prairies of central and eastern North America, from Minnesota east to Ohio and south to Texas and Florida. It grows to 1.8 m tall, with linear leaves 15–100 cm long but only 1–3 cm broad, with bristly or spiny margins and a sharp tip. The flowers are produced in dense apical umbels 1–3 cm diameter, each flower greenish-white or bluish-white, 3–4 mm diameter. When this plant flowers, pollen matures before stigmas become receptive to maximize outcrossing. Rattlesnake master has unusually high seed set (close to 90%).
It gets its name because some Native Americans used its root as an antidote for rattlesnake venom. The scientific name was given because its leaves resemble those ofyuccas. Fibers of rattlesnake master have also been found as one of the primary materials used in the ancient shoe construction of Midwestern Native Americans.
More information on Eryngium yuccifolium:
- Eryngium yuccifolium on Wikipedia
- Eryngium yuccifolium at Missouri Botanical Garden
- Eryngium yuccifolium at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
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Previously in the Interesting Plant series:
- Dahlia ‘Karma Choc’
- Echeveria Agavoides
- Jerusalem Sage (Phlomis fruticosa)
- Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea)
- Seaside Daisy, Beach Aster (Erigeron glaucus)
- Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia)
- California Lilac (Ceanothus)
- Bigberry Manzanita (Arctostaphylos glauca)
- Douglas Iris (Iris douglasiana)
- Malva Rosa (Lavatera assurgentiflora)
- Baby Blue-Eyes (Nemophila)
- Coral Bells or Alum Root (Heuchera)
- Deer Grass (Muhlenbergia rigens)
- Echeveria ‘Lola’
- View all past “Interesting Plant” posts
Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas