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Rattlesnake Master

Eryngium yuccifolium

Other common name(s):

Button Snakeroot, Button Eryngo, Button Snakeroot, Beargrass, Bear's Grass

Family:

Apiaceae (Carrot Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

East Central Texas Plains, Edwards Plateau, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, Texas Blackland Prairies, Western Gulf Coastal Plain
Bastrop Lost Pines, Floodplains and Low Terraces2, Northern Post Oak Savanna, Northern Prairie Outliers, San Antonio Prairie, Southern Post Oak Savanna
Balcones Canyonlands
Coastal Sand Plain, Northern Humid Gulf Coastal Prairies
Floodplains and Low Terraces1, Northern Blackland Prairie, Southern Blackland Prairie
Flatwoods, Floodplains and Low Terraces3, Pleistocene Fluvial Terraces, Red River Bottomlands, Southern Tertiary Uplands, Tertiary Uplands

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Herbaceous

Height

3
to
6
ft.

Spread

0.5
to
1
ft.

Leaf Retention

Evergreen

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Clay, Well Drained

Light Requirement

Sun

Water Requirement

Low, Medium

Native Habitat

Grassland, Woodland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

White

Bloom Season

Spring, Summer

Seasonal Interest

Nectar, Pollen

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Bees

Maintenance

Important prairie indicator. Makes an excellent focal point in a garden. Can be an profuse self-seeder. Remove spent bloom stalks if desired or leave to seed for wildlife. The spiny leaves are unpalatable to grazing livestock. Propagation: Seed, Root division.

Comments

Blooms May-August. Looks like a thistle but is in the carrot family. Leaves are blue-green, long, narrow, yucca-like, with parallel veins and soft prickles widely spaced. Spherical flower heads made of many small white flowers with whitish bracts appear at the end of branches. Has a honey fragrance. Attracts butterflies, bees, wasps and flies. Soldier beetles eat pollen.

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ERYU. 3) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Eryngium+yuccifolium&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 4) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=1058&locationType=County&mapType=Normal. 5) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=29506#null