Cup plant

A few days ago, the cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum) that is next to the pond really started standing out.

Some might say that this plant has been a standout since June, when my garden was part of the Sustainable Backyard Tour and several visitors commented on how huge my cup plant was.


It is quite impressive, as even back then it was probably five or six feet tall.

Right now, in bloom, it's at least 8' (2.4m) tall, towering over everything else nearby!

A macro lens does you no good when things are happening well above your head. The bees are loving this though!

Why is it called "cup plant"?

The leaves attach to the stems in a unique way, and rainwater collects in these little wells...

... if we ever got any rain that is. So dry!

I wonder if the fact that this plant doesn't get direct sunlight until mid-afternoon has contributed to its impressive height? It must be, because it doesn't get any special care (other than being fenced from the deer so they don't chop it down in spring -- once it gets above 4' tall they don't notice it for whatever reason).

Anybody else growing this? How tall is yours?


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Salty Pumpkin Studio  – (August 4, 2014 at 9:01 AM)  

They are lovely!
Do you have to stake them? Add a fence so they don't fall over? I love the shape, the habit of the leaves.

Alan  – (August 4, 2014 at 11:19 AM)  

Maywyn: if you look at the first photo you can just make out a fence around the base of the plant. This is about 4' tall and although was intended to provide deer protection, it seems like it might be giving some support as well. I've seen this plant unstaked in other gardens, so support is probably not needed.

Salty Pumpkin Studio  – (August 4, 2014 at 5:00 PM)  

Thank you Alan
I can see the fencing when I click to enlarge the photos. The plant will make a nice privacy border.

scottweberpdx  – (August 5, 2014 at 8:53 AM)  

Love it! I actually saw both this Silphium and Silphium lanciniatum at Joy Creek this weekend...sadly, just in their display beds and not for sale...but they were gorgeous and so impressive.

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