Native Cup Plant: Tall, Hardy, and In Blooms in Late Summer

Cup Plant

The cup plant is a tall, hardy plant that blooms in late summer. It can be found in low woods, meadows, prairies, and along the edges of ponds and streams.

This plant is known for its yellow blooms, coarse leaves, and super-long stems.

Cup plants grown outside their native range are thought to be invasive and may take over smaller plants even if planted within their native habitat.

Botanical Name Silphium perfoliatum
Common Name Cup plant
Plant Type Herbaceous perennial
Mature Size 4 to 8 feet
Sun Exposure Full sun
Soil Type Clay or wet soil
Soil pH 6.6 to 7.5 or 7.6 to 7.8
Bloom Time July to September
Flower Color Yellow
Hardiness Zones 3 to 9
Native Area Eastern-central Canada to southeastern United States

Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy

If you’re looking for a plant that is low-maintenance and can thrive in a variety of temperatures and environments, the cup plant is a great choice. Here are a few tips to keep your plants healthy:

  • Water regularly, especially during dry periods
  • Fertilize annually with compost or manure
  • Mulch around the base of the plant to help retain moisture
  • Prune back dead or dying stems in late winter or early spring
  • If planting in an area where deer are present, use a deer-resistant variety or fencing to protect your plants

Lighting and Temperature

The cup plant grows best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. It is a heat- and drought-tolerant plant that can thrive in a variety of temperatures and environments.

The ideal temperature range for the cup plant is 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.


The cup plant grows best in moist to wet soils that are high in organic matter.

It can tolerate a range of soil types, including clay, sand, and loam.


Fertilizer isn’t necessary for cup plants, as they’re naturally adapted to poor soils. Just make sure you provide them with full sun and well-drained soil, and they’ll be happy.

These plants are also drought-tolerant, so you don’t need to worry about watering them too often.


Pruning cup plants is important to help them stay healthy and promote new growth. You can prune your cup plant in early spring, before new growth begins.

Cut the plant back to about six inches above the ground. This will encourage the plant to produce new, strong stems and will also help prevent it from getting too leggy.


Watering Needs: The cup plant is a drought-tolerant plant that can survive with little to no water. It’s best to water the plant deeply and then allow it to dry out completely before watering again.


Size wise, the cup plant can grow up to eight feet tall and four to eight feet wide, making it one of the taller plants in this list.

It’s an annual, which means it will die off after one growing season, but it can self-seed (meaning the seeds will sprout and grow new plants next year with very little help from you).


Flowering from mid to late summer, the cup plant’s yellow blooms are a welcome addition to any garden.

The blooms are followed by dry, papery seed heads that can remain on the plant through winter, providing interest and food for birds.

Varieties of Cup Plants

The cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum) is a tall prairie wildflower that gets its common name from its unique leaf shape. The leaves of the cup plant are large and oval-shaped, with a deep notch in the center that forms a “cup”.

This cup is actually a pair of fused stems that surround the main stem of the plant. The cup plant is found throughout the central and southern United States, growing in open fields, roadside ditches, and other sunny areas.

There are two recognized varieties of the cup plant: connatum, which has hairy stems and is found in a few mid-Atlantic states, and perfoliatum, which is found throughout the central and southern United States.

Both varieties have showy yellow flowers that bloom in summer. The cup plant is a popular choice for butterfly gardens, as its nectar-filled cups attract a variety of butterflies.

How to Grow Cup Plants

Many gardeners and gardening centers regard the cup plant as a weed, making it difficult to find at your local garden center.

It is best to start from seeds and plant them outside, but planting in the spring is also possible.

Growing the cup plant from seed is recommended because it allows for a full sixty days of cold stratification before sowing the seeds.

It is important to remember that cup plants grown from seeds are unlikely to flower until the second year, so make sure the plant is in good condition during this time.

Fortunately, these plants are not susceptible to serious pests or diseases. The fungal Sclerotinia may affect a large number of cup plants, but it is not common in gardens.

By following these simple instructions, you can successfully grow a cup plant from seed.

How tall does a cup plant grow?

The cup plant, also known as Silphium perfoliatum, is a tall prairie flower that can reach heights of four to eight feet.

The plant gets its name from the way its leaves completely encircle the stem, forming a cup-like shape.

The cups can hold water, making them an important source of hydration for birds and small animals.

The cup plant is native to North America, where it grows in meadows, fields, and along roadsides.

The plant is tolerant of poor soils and can even thrive in sites that have been disturbed by human activity.

In recent years, the cup plant has become increasingly popular as an ornamental garden plant.

Thanks to its tall stature and striking leaves, the plant makes a dramatic statement in any setting.

Is there any silphium left?

Silphium was a plant that was used in ancient Rome as a condiment and medicine. The plant was so popular that it became quite expensive, and eventually, the Romans began to use it for currency.

Silphium is thought to be a member of the fennel family, and it was used in many different dishes, including stews, soups, and sauces. The plant was also used as a form of contraception.

However, today, silphium has disappeared, possibly only in the region, or perhaps completely from the planet. Pliny said that during his lifetime, just one stalk was found.

The stalk was plucked and then sent to the Emperor Nero to be a curiosity between 54 and 68 AD. It is possible that the plant was over-harvested and eventually became extinct.

However, it is also possible that the plant still exists somewhere in the world and has simply not been discovered yet.

Where can I find Silphium?

There are many places where Silphium can be found. The American silphium plants are huge flowering perennials which thrive in moist zones throughout the eastern US beginning from Texas northwards to Canada.

They are rich yellow in color and their leaves are lanceolate, with the flowers measuring about six inches long. They mostly grow in wetlands, damp meadows, and along streams.

In some areas, they are also found in prairies and along roadsides. The plant is a source of nectar for bees and butterflies, and the seeds are eaten by birds.

Silphium was once used as a herbal medicine and is still used in some Native American ceremonies. It is also used as a food source by some animals.

Is silphium extinct?

Silphium was a plant that was once native to North Africa. It was an important plant in the ancient world and was used for a variety of purposes, including as a spice and medicine.

The plant was so valuable that it was reportedly worth its weight in silver. However, Silphium is now extinct.

The exact reason for its extinction is unknown, but it is thought to be due to over-exploitation by humans.

The last known specimens of Silphium were collected in the 1st century AD, and the plant has not been seen since.

Despite its extinction, Silphium continues to have an impact on the world today.

The seed pods of the plant are thought to be the basis for the popular image of the heart.

As such, Silphium is a reminder of the importance of preserving our natural resources.

How do you grow Silphium perfoliatum from seed?

Silphium perfoliatum, also known as cup plant or rosin weed, is a perennial herb that produces yellow flowers.

The plant is native to North America, and it can be found in various habitats including prairies, woodlands, and wetlands.

Silphium perfoliatum can grow up to six feet tall, and its large leaves are distinctive for their circular shape and deep green color.

The plant gets its common name, cup plant, from the way its leaves form a cup-like shape around the stem when they are dried out.

Another common name for the plant, rosin weed, comes from the fact that the plant exudes a sticky resin from its stems and leaves. This resin was once used by Native Americans to treat wounds and infections.

Silphium perfoliatum is relatively easy to grow from seed. One method is to sow the seeds directly in late autumn.

Another option is to mix the seeds with moist sand and store them at room temperature for up to 60 days before planting.

Once the seeds are planted, it is important to keep the soil moist until they germinate. Once seedlings have established, water them frequently.

Where does Silphium grow?

Silphium is a genus of plants in the sunflower family. The common name is typically associated with the species Silphium perfoliatum, which is also known as cup plant, rosinweed and compass plant.

Silphium grows in moist soils with a sunny or partially sunny exposure and can be found inhabiting habitats from Quebec up to Maine and from south to Georgia.

The plant’s distribution extends westward towards Ontario as well as North Dakota and south to Oklahoma and Louisiana. This hardy perennial flourishes in a variety of soil types and requires little maintenance once established.

Gardeners value Silphium for its ability to attract pollinators, its showy yellow flowers and its towering height, which often exceeds six feet. When properly cared for, Silphium can provide years of enjoyment in the garden.

Can you grow Silphium?

Silphium is a genus of tall, hardy perennials that can range in height from 1.5 to 3.6 meters (5 to 12 feet).

The flowers bloom from midsummer to early autumn, producing flowers that resemble sunflowers with a yellow hue.

Silphium can be planted at the back of the garden border due to their large size.

The specific Silphium you are able to grow will depend on the climate zone you are in as well as the amount of sun and shade your garden gets throughout the day.

If you are interested in growing Silphium, make sure to do your research beforehand to ensure they will be compatible with the other plants in your garden.

With proper care, Silphium can provide beauty and interest in the garden for many years to come.

Where can I find silphium?

The American silphium plants are big flowering perennials that thrive in moist regions throughout the eastern US starting from Texas northwards to Canada.

The plant typically flowers during the summer months, producing a bright yellow bloom. Silphium is often used as an ornamental plant, but it also has a number of practical uses.

The sap from the plant can be used as a natural insecticide, and the leaves can be used as a form of natural fertilizer.

Silphium is also known for its medicinal properties, and the plant has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including colds, stomachaches, and fever.

While silphium is not particularly rare, it can be difficult to find outside of its native range.

Garden stores and nurseries in areas where the plant grows naturally are generally the best bet for finding silphium.

Is cup plant invasive?

The Cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum) is a perennial herbaceous plant of the sunflower family.

It’s found in the Central Plains region of North America, though found to be invading outside of its natural habitat.

The plant can grow up to 3 meters tall, with large, toothed leaves and small yellow flowers clustered at the top of the stem. The stem is hollow and cup-shaped, which gives the plant its name.

The Cup plant is an aggressive invader, capable of crowding out native vegetation and altering ecosystem function.

One study found that stands of Cup plant were able to significantly reduce native species richness and alter soil properties.

As a result, the Cup plant is considered to be a serious invasive species in many areas.

If you are concerned about this plant invading your property, it’s best to consult with a local expert.

Where is Silphium perfoliatum native?

Silphium perfoliatum, also known as cup plant or rosinweed, is a tall, slender plant that is native to North America.

The leaves of the plant are unique in that they appear to be fused together at the stem, creating a cup-like shape.

The flowers of the plant are yellow and grow in clusters. Silphium perfoliatum typically grows in open areas, such as fields and meadows. It blooms from July to September.

Jessica Miles

Jessica Miles is a writer for Botanique Boutique, a plant and gardening blog. She has always loved plants, flowers, and anything green. When she was younger, she used to watch her grandfather garden and would be in awe of the beautiful flowers he would grow. Now Jessica writes about all things related to plants and gardening - from beginner tips on how to start growing your own plants, to in-depth guides on caring for a specific type of flower or plant. She loves helping others learn about this fascinating hobby, and hopes that her writing will inspire people to get outside and enjoy nature!

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