Native Plant Database

Header Photo: Mervin Wallace

Cup Plant

Silphium perfoliatum
Plant Type: Herbaceous Perennials
Native Environment: Prairie, Stream Edge, Wetland
Season of Interest: Late (July - frost)
Main Color: Yellow
Fall Color:

USDA PLANTS Range Map

At the range map link above, zoom in for county-level data

Sun Exposure 
Full Sun, Medium Sun/Average Shade
Soil
Moisture
Dry, Moderate, High, Wet
Nature Attracting
Wildlife Benefit
Butterfly / Moth Nectar, Food/Birds
Animal
Resistance
Size

Height:

7 to
10
feet

Spread:

3 to
5
feet
Size
Height: 7 to
10
feet
Spread: 3 to
5
feet
Size
Height: 7 to
10
feet
Spread: 3 to
5
feet
Typical Landscape Use
This is a large bold plant that brings form and texture to the landscape. Use as a focal point in perennial gardens, native plant gardens and in prairies and moist areas.
Establishment and Care Instructions
Grow in full sun. Adaptable and highly aggressive, clump-forming.
Special Features
Special Usage
Basic Description

This plant is distinguished from other Silphiums by its square stems and pairs of cup-forming leaves that hold water. Soft yellow flowers grow 3 in. in diameter with darker yellow center disks. Plants bloom in summer at the top of stout stems.

Cup plant composite with yellow petals and flower buds

Cup plant flowers. Photo by E. Goss

Water collected in node of leaf

Water collects in the nodes of the cup plant. Photo by E. Goss

Where Should I Start?

Check out the Grow Native! Committee’s Top Ten picks of native plants for a particular purpose.

What’s the Next Step?

Picked out your plants? View our Resource Guide of garden centers, seed sources, landscapers, education resources, and more!

Where Can I Find This Plant in Nature?

Learn about the Native Environment(s) inhabited by the plants in this database.

Support the Grow Native! Program