Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)

Cup Plant can grow between 1 – 2.5 metres in height and a patch of it in flower is quite spectacular.

Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)

It is native to eastern and central North America.

It grows on river banks, and open floodplain forests. I found these not far from the Don River.

Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)

The pairs of upper leaves are united at the base to form a cup. The Latin perfoliatum refers to a leaf which has its margins entirely surrounding the stem in such a fashion that the stem seems to pass through the leaf.

Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)
Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)

The flowers are between 11 and 14 cm wide.

Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)

These flowers provide a rich source for bees and the cultivation of honey.

Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum) with bee
Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)

The Latin word Silphium goes back to antiquity for this type of plant which was used as a seasoning, perfume, as a aphrodisiac, or as a medicine..

Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)
Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)

Miles Hearn

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