Did you know, Silphium perfoliatum, commonly known as Cup Plant, attracts honey bees, bumble bees, and big showy butterflies, in our ecoregion 231. Soldier beetles and adult fireflies are also common visitors. Another visitor is the specialist bee, Dieunomia eteropoda, the largest sweat bee in the eastern United States,
The cup plant is also the host plant for caterpillars of the split moth, Tabenna silphiella and leafcutter bees, Megachilidae spp., which use broke, hollow stems of cup plant and its relatives as nest sites. this is why it is so important not to tidy up in the fall so much so there are not nesting sites for the pollinators.
Name: Silphium perfoliatum
Common: Cup plant
Size: 4′ – 8′ with a 1′ – 3′ spread. Give it a lot of room
Conditions: Sun; moist to wet soil.
Attracts: honey bees and bumble bees in ecoregion 231, Cup plant a also a nectar plant for butterflies.
The shape of the leaves, forming a cup, gave rise to the common name. This is a monster of a plant. If give complete sun, the cup plant is likely to stand tall. With any shade, the cup plant will lean to reach. In any case, the cup plant is a wonderful addition in a Bee Better garden.
In the Bee Better Teaching Garden, we grow cup plant on the north side where there is some sun. Sure enough, the stems reach for the sun at the end of the day when the shade comes in. Since the cup plants are planted in the back of the border, even when to fall reaching the sun, they make a nice display in the path border. At first glance, you might wander what the plant is because it looks like Silphium perfoliatum, but all too short! Then if you follow the stem back, you’ll the majestic stems holding the flower heads.
On the Lindtner honey bee scale of 2 and 2.