Silphium perfoliatum-Cup Plant

leaves

 Silphium perfoliatum ‘cups’

Silphium perfoliatum, commonly known as Cup Plant is found in the Asteraceae family. We have a nice large plant growing in the Tucker mini-prairie. It is native to the central and eastern U.S., and will reach 3-4 meters in height. It’s not blooming yet, but when it does bloom it will have a daisy-like yellow inflorescence in midsummer. It also has large, opposite (perfoliate) leaves that share the same node and join together on the plant stem. Where the leaf meets the stem, a sort of cup is formed. This ‘cup’ actually holds rainwater. See photo above. Goldfinches actually eat the Cup Plant seeds, and drink water from the ‘cups’ on the stems. Because these plants form dense colonies, they provide great cover for many species of birds. I will post more photos when the Cup Plant blooms.