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Eryngium yuccifolium - Rattlesnake Master (photo credit: Missouri Botanical Garden)

Perennials

Eryngium yuccifolium

Rattlesnake Master

Eryngium yuccifolium, or rattlesnake master, is a Missouri native plant which occurs in rocky woods, prairies and glades throughout the State and was a common plant of the tallgrass prairie. Rattlesnake-master features basal rosettes of bristly-edged, sword-shaped leaves resembling those of yucca. Tiny, stemless, greenish-white flowers resemble thistles. Flower heads appear in branched clusters at the top of smooth stiff stems typically rising to 3-4' (less frequently to 5-6') tall from the centers of the rosettes. Very long bloom time!


Taller plants may need support, however staking of these substantial plants in a cosmetically acceptable manner can be difficult. Massing plants in naturalized areas where they can provide some support to each other may be the best solution for this problem.


Attractive to small native bees and to butterflies. One of the host plants for the Black Swallowtail butterfly and of very high importance to pollinators.

Additional:

Common name is in reference to a former use of this plant as a treatment for rattlesnake bite. One of the host plants for the Black Swallowtail butterfly.

Rattlesnake Master Growing and Maintenance Tips:

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Plants tend to open up and sprawl if grown in overly fertile soils or in anything less than full sun. This is a taprooted plant which transplants poorly and is best left undisturbed once established.

Height:

48-60 in

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Spread:

24-36 in

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Hardiness Zone:

3 - 8

Characteristics & Attributes for Eryngium yuccifolium

Exposure
Sun
Soil Moisture Preference
Dry
Average
Moist
Critter Resistance
Rabbit Resistant
Deer Resistant
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Summer
Fall
Attributes
Clay Soil
Native
Naturalizing
Rock Garden
Drought Tolerant
Rain Garden
Border or Bed
Great Companion Plants for Eryngium yuccifolium
Black-eyed Susan Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm')
Joe Pye Weed Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum 'Euphoria™ Ruby')