Cup Plant (Perfoliatum) is generally described as
a perennial forb/herb.
native to the U.S. (United States)
has its most active growth period in the
Cup Plant (Perfoliatum) has
green foliage and
yellow flowers, with
a moderate amount of
conspicuous brown fruits or seeds.
The greatest bloom is usually observed in the
with fruit and seed production starting in the
summer and continuing until
not retained year to year.
Cup Plant (Perfoliatum) has a
short life span relative to most other plant species and a
slow growth rate.
At maturity, the typical
Cup Plant (Perfoliatum) will reach up to
9.8 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of
Cup Plant (Perfoliatum) is easily found in nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by
It has a
moderate ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have
Note that cold stratification is
not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below
medium tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.
Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.
Ethnobotanic: Cup plant’s young leaves were cooked in the spring as an acceptable green (Kindscher 1987). This species was also used as a chewing gum to help prevent vomiting (Runkel & Roosa 1989). The Winnebagos tribe believed that this species has supernatural powers. They would drink a concoction derived from the rhizome to purify them before going on a buffalo hunt. It is used in the treatment of liver and spleen disorders and has also been used to treat morning sickness (Moerman 1998). A decoction of the root has been used as a face wash and to treat paralysis, back and chest pain, and lung hemorrhages (Ibid.).
General: Composite family (Asteraceae). Cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum) is a tall perennial native that grows up to eight feet tall. This species has square stems and leaves that are mostly opposite, egg-shaped, toothed, with cuplike bases that hold water (Kindscher 1987). The flower heads are rich, golden yellow, 2.5 centimeters in diameter, and closely grouped at the tips of the stems (Hunter 1984). The small, tubular disk flowers are in the middle of the flower and is sterile and does not produce fruits (Ladd, 1995).
Required Growing Conditions
Cup plant ranges from Ontario to South Dakota, south to Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, and Oklahoma (Steyermark 1963). For current distribution, please consult the Plant profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.
Adaptation Silphium perfoliatum occurs on low ground, in moist areas, along prairie streams, alluvial thickets, floodplains, and along the edges of wet woodlands. This species is found throughout the tall grass region, but more sporadic northward (Ladd 1995).
Cultivation and Care
Propagation by Seed: Seeds are best sown as soon as they are ripe in a greenhouse. If the seeds are collected in the fall, they should be stratified for twelve weeks and then sown at 24 to 32ºF for four to eight weeks, and then moved to 68ºF for germination. When the plants are large enough to handle, place them into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
General Upkeep and Control
Silphium perfoliatum species should be transplanted when they are young. This species is much easier when transplanted young because it is very difficult to transplant once it is older due to its extensive root system.
SIPEC2Silphium perfoliatum species should be transplanted when they are young. This species is much easier when transplanted young because it is very difficult to transplant once it is older due to its extensive root system.
Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database, plants.usda.gov.
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA