How to Grow Button Eryngo


Button Eryngo (also called Bear's grass or Rattlesnake master) is a perennial forb with bluish green leaves that grow to be up to 3 feet long and 1 ½ inches wide. The plant itself can be as large as 6 feet tall. It grows well in wet or dry prairie soil. Flower heads are located on the tips of the stems and measure ½ inch to 1 inch in diameter. The globes are comprised of many small flowers that are typically white in color and have a honey-like odor.

Step 1

Choose a planting site that is similar to its native habitat---dry or wet prairies or open woods in the Southeast or Midwest US. Button Eryngo can thrive in many environments, as long as it has well-drained soil that is in full sun.

Step 2

Reduce weeds by using herbicides or mowing them. They will compete with Buttom Eryngo and make it more difficult for the plant to thrive.

Step 3

Dig holes that are large enough for the rootballs. The width and depth will depend on the size of the plant. Place the plants in them. Cover with soil and pack it down. Water well.

Step 4

Water the plant every 2-3 days. Expect white blooms to appear in May through August.

Step 5

Watch for self-seeding. The plant can drop its seeds, causing new seedlings to grow. If you don't want the plant to spread in this manner, remove the seed heads or pull out the seedlings when they appear.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't use fertilizer in the first (establishment) year unless the soil is severely deficient in phosphorus or potassium. Don't walk through the plant if possible---the spiny leaves make it difficult to get through clumps of rattlesnake master.

Things You'll Need

  • Herbicide or mower
  • Plants
  • Soil
  • Water


  • USDA
  • The University of Texas at Austin
Keywords: button eryngo, perennials, rattlesnake master

About this Author

Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.