top of page
Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)

Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)

Easily grown in average, medium to wet soils in full sun. Prefers moist, rich soils, but tolerates some drought once established. Somewhat slow to establish when grown from seed. Self-seeds in optimum growing conditions.


Silphium perfoliatum, commonly called cup plant, is a coarse, sunflower-like, Missouri native plant which occurs in open, low woods and thickets, wet meadows and prairies, stream/pond peripheries and along railroad tracks in the Midwest and portions of the southern United States. It typically grows on tough, erect stems to 4-8' tall and is distinguished from the other silphiums by its square/quadrangular stems and pairs of cup-forming leaves. Flower heads (to 3" diameter) featuring light yellow rays (20-40) and darker yellow center disks bloom in summer on the upper part of the plant. Rough, triangular to ovate, coarsely-toothed, opposite, connate-perfoliate, medium green leaves can reach 14" long. The leaf pairs are united at their bases, enveloping the stems.


Native Range: Central-eastern Canada to southeastern United States

Zone: 3 to 9

Height: 4.00 to 8.00 feet

Spread: 1.00 to 3.00 feet

Bloom Time: July to September

Bloom Description: Yellow

Sun: Full sun

Water: Medium to wet

Maintenance: Low

Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden

Flower: Showy

Attracts: Birds, Butterflies

Tolerate: Clay Soil, Wet Soil


Related Products