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  • Writer's pictureJulie Borneman

Plant Profile: Eryngium yuccafolium-Rattlesnake Master

Eryngium yuccifolium, commonly known as rattlesnake master, is a unique and attractive wildflower native to the central and eastern regions of North America. The plant typically grows to a height of 3-4 feet and has long, narrow leaves that resemble those of a yucca plant. Its distinctive flower heads are spiky and round, and are composed of numerous small, white or greenish flowers that bloom from mid-summer to early fall. Rattlesnake master is an excellent choice for adding texture and interest to a prairie or meadow garden, and it is also a valuable plant for attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

In addition to its ornamental value, Eryngium yuccifolium also provides important benefits to wildlife. The plant's tough, spiky leaves and stem provide shelter and nesting sites for a variety of insects and spiders, while the flowers provide a valuable source of nectar for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Rattlesnake master is also a larval host plant for several species of moths, including the elegant sphinx moth and the uncommon rattlesnake-master borer moth. This makes it an important plant for supporting biodiversity and promoting healthy ecosystems.

Rattlesnake master is a hardy plant that is well-suited to a variety of growing conditions. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil, but can tolerate a range of soil types, including clay and sandy soils. It is also tolerant of drought and heat, making it an excellent choice for hot and dry regions. Rattlesnake master is typically found growing in prairies, savannas, and open woods, and it is often used in prairie restoration projects to help preserve and restore this important ecosystem. Overall, Eryngium yuccifolium is a beautiful and valuable wildflower that provides numerous benefits to both wildlife and the environment. Photo: Sandy's Plants

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