Rattlesnake Master

With a name like “rattlesnake master,” one would expect quite a robust plant. Indeed, Eryngium yuccifolium (http://bit.ly/1g09o1R) is just that. Standing at roughly 4 feet tall, this member of the carrot family is an icon of the American prairies. Rattlesnake master is usually buzzing with pollinators when in bloom, which results in a very high seed set rate. Looking more like some sort of thistle, the flower clusters exhibit some interesting adaptations to avoid self-pollination. The male parts of the flower mature and senesce before the female parts become receptive to pollen. Planting at least a handful of plants is a good way to ensure pollination. Like most prairie species, rattlesnake master enjoy full to partial sun and moist soils. Once established, it is quite easy to grow. There are few sites as impressive as a garden full of rattlesnake master humming with pollinating insects. If you are looking for something truly jaw-dropping then rattlesnake master is the species for you!

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