Tennessee Smart Yards Native Plants

A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants

Cup Plant

Cup Plant

Silphium perfoliatum

Full to part sun, moderately wet to medium moisture level, prefers rich soil but is adapted to wide range of soils including clay, very strongly acid to neutral pH.  5-8 feet height, blooms in summer, yellow flowers, will freely self-seed in optimum conditions.

Germination Code:  C(60)

Native Region:  Western half of Tennessee

Coarse, sunflower-like plant.  Leaves encircle the squarish stems, forming a cup that can hold rain water, hence its common name.  Species is also sometimes called Cup Rosinweed because its stems exude a gummy sap when cut.  High drought tolerance although may drop its lower leaves during a drought.  Can be invasive with an “unstoppable urge to reproduce.”  Attracts birds, butterflies, hummingbirds and bees. Goldfinches and other seed-eating birds relish the seeds and will often drink water from the cup.


One response to “Cup Plant

  1. Marinell Morgan February 6, 2018 at 2:40 am

    The cup plant makes you feel good you planted it for a variety of reasons. The yellow blossoms, there are many, against the bright green foliage are cheerful. Watching a black capped chickadee or a goldfinch getting water where the leaves cup the stem is sweet.

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