Rattlesnake Master

The other evening, I went back out to the local prairie meadow that I’ve been visiting throughout the spring/summer. During my previous trip there, I saw many plants starting to bud, and with the recent rains I wanted to see if any new wildflowers were blooming. I did find a few new ones that were blooming, as well as a lot of plants that are just starting to bud. I decided to first highlight this interesting find, the Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium). Other common names for this unique plant are Yucca-leaf Eryngo and Button Snakeroot. This plant can grow up to 4-feet high and the flowers are a dense, global head and greenish in color. The leaves are yucca-like; the lower leaves can grow to 3-feet long, but much shorter along the stem working upward. According to historical information, an extract from this plant was supposed to be effective against snake poison, hence the most common name “Rattlesnake Master”.

Let’s take a look at this interesting “wildflower”. Here is a clump of Rattlesnake Master growing in the meadow (this was the only clump I found during my recent hike in the meadow):

Clump of Rattlesnake Master wildflowers

A closer look at this plant shows the tall stem with flowers clustered on the top of the stem:

Rattlesnake Master wildflower

And a close-up look at a single flower cluster:

Rattlesnake Master flower head

Although not a bright, blooming beauty like so many of our wildflowers, the Rattlesnake Master is a very unique plant and certainly deserves it’s place in our meadows! During one of my upcoming posts, I will highlight some more wildflowers that are starting to bloom in this prairie meadow.

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