Rattlesnakemaster (Aquaticum)

The Rattlesnakemaster (Aquaticum) is generally described as a biennial forb/herb. This is native to the U.S. (United States) .

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

Ethnobotanic: The Cherokee, Choctaw, Koasati and other Southwestern Native American tribes used a tea made from the plants to treat “stomach disorders.” The root was chewed for stomachache. An infusion, made from the roots, was used to cause vomiting for nausea, as a powerful expectorant to clear the lungs, and a diuretic. The root was used as a stimulant as well as an “anti-poison” to treat snakebite. The Choctaw used the plant to treat gonorrhea. The Alabama and Koasati tribes used the plant ceremonially as well as medicinally. The Koasati believed the plant to contain magical powers, which could kill an enemy merely by striking him with it. The roots are collected in the autumn. Some Native Americans still use the plant today. Other: The unique shape and color of rattlesnakemaster flower sprays make them an unusual addition to fresh and dried flower arrangements. For best results, cut the flowers before they open completely.

General Characteristics

General: Carrot or parsley family (Apiaceae, formerly Umbelliferae). These hardy, perennial or biennial herbs, resembling a cross between a yucca and a thistle, can be a little over a meter to two meters tall. The solitary, erect stem has parallel ribs and branches near the top, ending in globe-shaped flowers. The stem has alternate leaves, which are narrow, lance-shaped and pinnately veined. The broad, stiff basal leaves (20-90cm long, 9cm wide), are usually absent at the time of flowering. Leaves can be slightly toothed along the edges. The plants flower from spring to fall. The white to blue flower heads are 1-1.5 cm with 2mm-long flower petals. Spiny, bluish, leaflike bracts extend beyond the flowering heads giving them an unusual appearance. Fruits are short and oblong, from 2 to 4mm, with scales.

Required Growing Conditions

For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

Habitat: The species grows in wet soils, along waters edges in fresh to brackish marshes, low woods, meadows, bogs, swamps and ditches.

Adaptation E. aquaticum is adapted to marshy or seasonally flooded areas. It grows in soils that are regularly saturated to irregularly inundated.

Plant Basics
General Type Forb/herb
Growth Duration Biennial
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database, plants.usda.gov.
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA