Some would say that this beauty is a beast of a plant and I might have agreed several years ago when it stood 9 feet tall and 3 foot wide in my little sunny Susan's Bed! I've since learned to cut it back at the same time I clip the ex-asters. I suggest you do the same, because banning this beauty from your garden because it's tall and colonizing would be a shame.
You just can't beat the composite flowers when it comes to wildlife value, but, there's something especially wonderful about Cup Plant. Once the flowers open the pollinators descend upon the garden and they stay until the last petal falls from the plant and then the birds eat the seeds. But, even before it blooms, the wasps, Bumble bees, flies and small birds stop by to drink the rain and dew that has collected in the fused leaves that form a cup around the plants square stems. It's a very cool plant.
Cup Plant is a native of tall grass prairies where it grows in moderately rich, moist well drained neutral to alkaline soil. Expect it to make itself at home in your garden by setting down a central taproot and shallow rooted rhizomes. First year seedlings are easily transplantable from where you don't want them to where you do. It can and will spread vegetatively (and by seed) to form a large and tall colony that makes a striking statement in the back of a garden. Plant it with other prairie forbs and grasses to create a pocket prairie.
good looking flowers,
a rough and tumble wildflower,
tons of happy pollinators,
great wildlife value...
|A tattered beauty in the garden July 22, 2014|
Some particulars you might want to know about Cup Plant!
Growth: Can grow to as much as 9 ft. tall by 3 ft. wide...I am not kidding!
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. It grows in my garden, it will grow in yours!
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.