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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Eryngium yuccifolium Michx.
Button eryngo, Button snakeroot, Rattlesnake master, Beargrass, Bear's grass
USDA Symbol: ERYU
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Scattered along the stiff, upright stem of this unusual perennial are tough, blue-green, yucca-like, parallel-veined leaves. Smooth, rigid stem bearing thistle-like flower heads made up of small greenish-white florets mingled with pointed bracts. The individual, greenish-white flowers cluster into unique, globular heads. These occur on branch ends atop the 6 ft. plant.
Their spiny leaves make walking through clumps of these plants difficult, and also make them unpalatable to grazing livestock. They were once credited with a variety of curative powers. Their flower heads develop a bluish cast with maturity.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Size Notes:
4-6 feet. Flower:
Flowers in 1 inch globes
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
, WI Native Distribution: FL
to coastal & blackland prairies in TX,
n. to NJ,
& NE Native Habitat:
Prairies; sandy roadsides; open woods
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Medium Light Requirement:
Sun Soil Moisture:
Moist Soil Description:
Various well-drained soils. Conditions Comments:
Rattlesnake master can be an aggressive self-seeder. Remove seed heads to keep the plant in check. Scattered along the stiff, upright stem
of this unusual perennial
are tough, blue-green, yucca-like, parallel-veined leaves. Smooth, rigid stem
bearing thistle-like flower
heads made up of small greenish-white florets. The individual, greenish-white flowers cluster into unique, globular heads. Their spiny leaves make walking through clumps of these plants difficult.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Bog or pond area, Water garden
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Usually propagated by seed planted outdoors in fall or stored, stratified and planted in spring. Mature plants can be divided in late spring or early fall. Seed Collection:
Collect seed in fall when the seed heads have turned brown. Tap
the seed out of the heads and air-dry, storing with the chaff in sealed, refrigerated containers. Seed Treatment:
Cold-moist stratify at 40 degrees for 2 months. Commercially Avail:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2013-09-11
Research By: TWC Staff