Bloom and Groom Series Rattlesnake Master ( Eryngium yuccifolium)

By MaryAnn Fink/ The Native Explorer contributor/ Pollinator Junction/ Museum of Transportation 

Copyright July /2022

Rattlesnake Master ( Eryngium yuccifolium)

White velcro balls are staged artfully and  sporadically along the upper most tip of sturdy staffs of this rough and tough Missouri native.

This is a good natured guy but the flower balls on sticks and his unfriendly looking pointy stiff green leaves send a very different message. Perhaps he’s just rigid looking because he’s trying to be formal and austere looking but sometimes it comes across as just mean looking. That is until you see him happily feeding those hungry butterflies and various other pollinators! At least his stand-offish looks help him avoid being deer lunch except for the occasional nibble.  He is likely to survive long enough and be plentiful enough to “bee” enjoyed indoor, too, as a great cut flower! 

His preference is for moist to dry soil in a sunny location. Too much shade will cause him to lose his balance and put his typically upright flowers shafts at risk to dipping into the dirt. He is not one to like a sloppy lazy prone position!

He belongs to the rather informal carrot crowd. However, nothing is typical carrot-like above ground but this tough guy does have a significant taproot!

This handsome native is located in a few places at the Museum of Transportation including Pollinator Junction. But my favorite combination is at the entrance in the median where there are so many native companion plants including beautiful liatris! There are pollinators galore to welcome visitors!

As a side note-there is nothing about Rattlesnake Master in my research that makes me think this is an effective remedy for treating the bites from rattlesnakes!