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 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.
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.
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
What you can expect:
A big plant presence,
good looking flowers,
a rough and tumble wildflower,
tons of happy pollinators,
great wildlife value...
|A tattered beauty in the garden July 22, 2014|
I never have to worry about this one disappearing from the garden ;)
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.