Silphium perfoliatum (Cup Plant) Unity Grown
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Silphium perfoliatum, commonly called cup plant, is a large, upright perennial wildflower that grows to towering heights of up to eight feet tall. Commonly found in low woodlands, wet meadows, and other moist, disturbed areas, Silphium perfoliatum produces profuse bright-yellow, sunflower-like flowers through the summer, up to 3" in diameter; these yellow blooms are attractive to hummingbirds, as well as a number of butterflies and other pollinators, and flowers turn to persistent seedheads in the fall which attract birds.Silphium perfoliatum's common name, cup plant, comes from the cup-like formation of leaves around the center stalk, which collect rainwater through the growing season, occasionally catching bugs, but more commonly serving as a safe water source away from the ground for birds. Cup plant is tolerant of heavy, wet soils, including clay, and dense, fibrous roots make it well suited for erosion control and use in rain gardens, but is versatile enough to be planted anywhere there's room for its tall stems.