This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cup Plant

This morning I found a plant I have been looking for, Cup Plant or silphium perfoliatum, flowering in the high school wetland area. It is a close relative of Prairie Dock and of Compass Plant.
The plant gets it common name from the cup that the leaves make around the stem.
Cup plant is supposed to be common in Illinois. It is not nearly as common here as Prairie Dock. There is an impressive display of Prairie Dock along Mattheson Street north of the railroad tracks. It was mowed down earlier this year, but it came back and is flowering. I think the plant is getting more abundant year by year. It is a perennial and may spread underground.

We are entering the time of the year in which we will a lot of yellow daisy-like flowers blooming. I keep trying to identify them, but there are so many and the differences are often very slight. But Prairie Dock, Compass Plant, and Cup Plant are easy.

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