SILPHIUM perfoliatum (Cup Plant) is a tall, herbaceous perennial native to North America. It belongs to the Asteraceae family and is known for its distinctive cup-shaped leaves that collect rainwater, hence the common name "Cup Plant." Cup Plant is highly valued for its architectural presence, attractive yellow flowers, and its ability to attract pollinators. It is often used in prairie restorations, native plant gardens, or as a focal point in larger landscapes.
Cup Plant is a tall and robust perennial that typically reaches a height of 4 to 8 feet (1.2 to 2.4 meters) and has a spread of about 2 to 4 feet (60 to 120 cm). It has sturdy, erect stems with opposite, ovate to triangular leaves that are perfoliate, meaning the stem appears to pass through the leaf. The leaves are coarse-textured, deeply veined, and have a rough texture.
This species thrives in full sun to partial shade and prefers moist to wet soil conditions. Cup Plant is often found in low-lying areas, along stream banks, or in wet meadows. It is adapted to a range of soil types, including clay, loam, or sandy soils.
The flowers of Silphium perfoliatum are bright yellow and daisy-like, with numerous petals radiating from a dark brown center. They are produced in large, showy clusters at the top of the stems, creating a striking display. The flowers are highly attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, providing an important food source.
Cup Plant typically blooms from midsummer to early fall, with the flowering period lasting for several weeks. The flowers are long-lasting and add a burst of vibrant color to the garden.
Cup Plant is often used in prairie restorations, meadow plantings, or rain gardens where its height and architectural presence can be showcased. It works well as a background plant, in large perennial beds, or as a focal point in larger landscapes. The bright yellow flowers and unique cup-shaped leaves add interest and beauty to the garden. Additionally, Cup Plant is a valuable plant for attracting pollinators and supporting local ecosystems.
Cup Plant, with its tall stature, distinctive cup-shaped leaves, and bright yellow flowers, is a notable and ecologically significant addition to gardens and landscapes. Its ability to attract pollinators, its adaptability to wet soil conditions, and its architectural presence make it a desirable choice for those seeking to create wildlife-friendly and visually striking garden spaces.
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