In a Nutshell:
* Eryngium yuccifolium (button eryngo, button snake-root, or rattlesnake master) is a herbaceous perennial plant of the parsley family native to the tallgrass prairies of central and eastern North America, from Minnesota east to Ohio and south to Texas and Florida, including a few spots in Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware.
* The flowers attract many insects, including short and long-tongued bees, flies, beetles, and butterflies.
* The leaves are stiff, long and narrow with a sharp tip, 15–100 cm (0–5 ft) long but only 1–3 cm (0.39–1.18 in) broad. They are bluish-green, and covered in a waxy coating. On the edges are regularly spaced bristles or spines.
* The common name comes from the fact that some Native Americans used its root as an antidote for rattlesnake venom. The species name yuccifolium"yucca-leaved" was given because its leaves resemble those of yuccas. more...
* The plant is used as an antidote to snakebites. The roots are chewed and applied as a poultice to the bite.
* Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in early autumn on the surface of a well-drained compost in a cold frame. The seed can also be sown in spring. It usually germinates in 5 - 90 days at 20°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in early spring or autumn. Take care since the plant resents root disturbance. more...