Eryngium yuccifolium

Button Eryngo

In Stock: 1.64 lb (Total:1.64lb)
  • Eryngium yuccifolium

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1.64 lb
Eryngium yuccifolium


Germination test:
Seeds per lb:
1.64 lb
Collected in:
Crop year:
Min. hardiness zone:
Item ID:

Growing Info

Scarification: none required
Stratification: A short stratification of 6 weeks at 4°c can improve the germination of stored seed
Germination: sow seed 1/8" deep , tamp the soil, keep moist, mulch the seed bed, , can be sown outdoors in the fall for spring germination

Eryngium yuccifolium, commonly known as button eryngo, button snake-root, or rattlesnake master, is a striking herbaceous perennial plant that is native to the tallgrass prairies of central and eastern North America. It can be found from Minnesota east to Ohio and south to Texas and Florida, with a few scattered spots in Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware.

This plant features stiff, long, and narrow leaves with a sharp tip, measuring 15–100 cm (0–5 ft) in length and only 1–3 cm (0.39–1.18 in) in width. The leaves are bluish-green and have a waxy coating, with regularly spaced bristles or spines along the edges. The flower clusters, produced in July and August, are found at the end of branching stalks that can reach up to 1.8 m (5.9 ft) in height. Each small flower, measuring 3–4 mm in diameter, has greenish-white or bluish-white petals and emits a faint honey-like scent. These flowers are grouped in dense ball-shaped clusters that resemble flowerheads.

The button eryngo is not only visually appealing but also attracts a variety of insects, including bees, flies, beetles, and butterflies. Native Americans even used its root as an antidote for rattlesnake venom, giving rise to the common name "rattlesnake master." The species name "yuccifolium" refers to its leaves, which bear a resemblance to those of yuccas. In fact, the plant is used as an antidote to snakebites, with the roots being chewed and applied as a poultice to the bite.

To cultivate Eryngium yuccifolium, the seeds are best sown as soon as they are ripe in early autumn. They can also be sown in spring, with germination typically occurring in 5-90 days at 20°C. Once the seedlings are large enough to handle, they can be transplanted into individual pots and grown in a greenhouse for their first winter. They can then be planted outdoors in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Alternatively, the plant can be divided in early spring or autumn, although it is important to exercise caution as it resents root disturbance.

In terms of cultivation, the button eryngo thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. It prefers slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soil and can tolerate a pH range from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. However, it can be susceptible to root rot if the soil remains wet or moist for extended periods. Once planted, it is recommended to leave the plant undisturbed, as it develops a large taproot and other thick, fleshy roots. It may also self-sow in gardens.

Aside from its aesthetic qualities, the fibers of the rattlesnake master have been found to be used in the shoe construction of Native Americans in the Midwest. This plant is commonly sold by native plant nurseries for prairie or native meadow restoration, as well as for gardens and landscapes. It is a hardy plant, capable of withstanding strong winds, and is suited for USDA hardiness zones 4 and above.

Overall, Eryngium yuccifolium is an intriguing and visually striking perennial plant that adds a unique touch to prairies, meadows, and gardens. Its ability to attract pollinators and offer historical uses further contribute to its appeal. Whether you are looking to restore a natural habitat or enhance your landscape, the button eryngo is a beautiful and beneficial addition.

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