Wednesday, September 8, 2010

100 Species Challenge #73

Specimen #73 Cup Plant
Silphium perfoliatum

Photo by me (so glad I had the cell phone along for once)

Location: along the city biking trails

I always thought it was a sunflower with funny leaves, but when I looked in my good old Peterson field guide, I found that I was wrong.

These plants are everywhere around town, native to Iowa, and fairly noticeable because of the leaves. The leaves named the plant -- the base forms a cup around the stem.

Use and classification of Cup Plant is all over the place -- it's a weed, it's threatened, smoke from the roots and tea from the leaves have different Native health benefits, it grows in dry prairie, it grows in wetlands, etc. Flip flop and flop flip. I will just say that I enjoy being able to positively identify it.

University of Illinois Extension Office has an account here.

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