Silphium perfoliatum is beginning to bloom and not a moment too soon! The butterflies and bees have been waiting for its first flowers to open..they've been busy visiting ever since.
Cup plant is one of my must have rough and tumble wildflowers.
"What's a rough and tumble wildflower?"you might be wondering. They're beautiful and charming plants that are usually found growing in meadows, prairies and roadside ditches and they haven't had their best characteristics bred out of them. There are no cultivars or hybrids~That means they have not been crossed or genetically altered by human hand to be shorter, more floriferous, double flowered, disease resistant, sterile or what ever else is the going fad. I am pretty sure you can't improve on what nature has already done~creating plants that dance beautifully and gracefully with their pollinator and wildlife partners.
|Rough and tumble plants seem more beautiful to me then many classic garden flowers.|
|critters drink the rain and dew that collects in the cups|
Cup plant more than fits the easy care/good wildlife value bill. Plant it where you want it to grow and then watch. Before it even blooms, there are wasps, flies, beetles, bees and birds stopping by to drink from the plant's "cups". The cup plant gets its common name from the large sandpaper rough leaves that are opposite and fused to form a cup around the square stem.
Once it blooms there are dozens of bumblebees, carpenter bees, honeybees and butterflies stopping by to feed on the nectar and pollen that the daisy like flowers produce from late July till early fall. Come fall the seed heads are a tasty treat for Goldfinches.
|Cup plant wants to be big and tall|
It's almost too big for my small Susan's bed, so, I cut it back in late spring/early summer but, it's still over 7 feet tall by mid-July. I am not complaining, I love it and it's a great companion for the taller New York iron weed and Joe-Pye weed.
However you decide to use Cup plant know that you are inviting a magnificent and assertive plant into your garden! It has good wildlife value and will provide a shady spot for critters to rest, to find water and food. It's practically perfect!
PS Some particulars you might want to know about Cup Plant!
Growth: Can grow to as much as 9 ft. tall by 3 ft. wide
Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jul, Aug, Sep
Distribution USA: AL , AR , CT , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SD , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV Canada: ON Native Distribution: S. Ont. to NC, w. to e. Great Plains
Native Habitat: Moist woods; prairies; low ground
Growing Conditions: Wet to mesic soils. Will tolerate clay soil.
Comments: Unstoppable urge to reproduce, they will pop up everywhere; very little care needed. (source)
Thank you for stopping by and welcome to Clay and Limestone's Wildflower Wednesday celebration. WW is about sharing and celebrating wildflowers from all over this great big, beautiful world. Join us on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Remember, it doesn't matter if they are in bloom or not; and, it doesn't matter if we all share the same plants. It's all about celebrating wildflowers. Please leave a comment when you add your url to Mr Linky.
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.