Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cup Plant

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Well the Cup Plants are blooming, Silphium perfoliatum. In many ways it's similar to a perennial sunflower. Grows tall, flowers look about the same, has a habit of falling over sometimes, forms a nice sized, down right invasive clump, and I'm probably going to remove it from my yard before it escapes.

Though this plant is native to the US, saying it's native to the Midwest prairies and water ways is more accurate. As the trend of planing natives in the garden grows I foresee this plant becoming a real problem this side of the Appalachian Mountains. It's already spreading like an invasive in New York water ways. And I've even found huge clumps of it at the community garden water way I visit. 

Part of it's success is the wonderful sunflower-like blooms that bees seem to fight over.  This dies down after a few days and it's become just another perennial in my garden to them.

A few of the odder, somewhat less seen pollinators go to them as well. I can never remember the name to this thing but it's a fly that mimics a wasp for some reason.

Supposedly the seeds are loved by Goldfinches.


But then of course so are sunflowers, which have the benefit of being annuals and fairly easy to control. I couldn't get a patch of these started this year with the extreme heat the month of May brought. So hopefully the Cup Plant is as loved as it's said to be by these birds.

Bottom line, the second the Cup Plant goes invasive in my garden it's gone!

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