Rattlesnake Master, Eryngium yuccifolium

Rattlesnake Master

Eryngium yuccifolium

Sun Shade:
Bloom Time: Summer
Zones: 3, 4, 5
Soil Conditions: Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil Moisture: Medium, Dry
Color: Gold
Fragrance: No
Height: 3 - 5 feet
Spacing: 1 foot


Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium) occurs in rocky woods, prairies and glades and was a common plant of the tallgrass prairie. It features basal rosettes of parallel-veined, bristly-edged, sword-shaped, medium green leaves (to 3 feet long) and tiny, stemless, greenish-white flowers tightly packed into globular, 1 inch diameter heads resembling thistles (composite family). Flower heads appear in branched clusters at the top of smooth stiff stems typically rising to 3-4 feet tall from the centers of the rosettes. Flower heads are subtended by whitish, pointed bracts. The blooming period occurs from mid- to late summer, and the balls of flowers remain attractive for about 2 months. The root system consists of a central taproot. After blooming, a plant will gradually die down, but one or more offsets will develop at its base. Thus, a small clump of plants will eventually form.

Habitats include moist to slightly dry black soil prairies, clay prairies, sand prairies, thickets, typical savannas, sandy savannas, and limestone glades.

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Prefers dryish, sandy soils. Self-seeds in optimum growing conditions.

Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  The site should not be subject to standing water. This is a taprooted plant which transplants poorly.
Further Information

 Wisconsin Fruit Trees
 Wisconsin Edible Berry Shrubs
 Widsconsin Edible Plants-Eat On The Wild Side
 8 Dandelion Recipes
 Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries

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