Silphium perfoliatum

Common Names: Cup plant, cup-plant rosinweed
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Aster family

The typical height of this plant ranges from 1 to 2.5 m. The stem is stout, smooth, slightly hairy (glabrous) strongly 4-angled (square), like mint plants. The leaves are opposite, toothed and ovate. The petioles are widely winged and fused around the stem, forming a cup. The first flower develops on the tip of the main stem, then more flowers develop on side branches. The flowers, which appear from midsummer to autumn (fall), look very similar to sunflowers, measuring about 2.5 cm in diameter, with golden yellow ray florets. In the middle of the flower there are small, sterile, tubular disk florets, which are structurally bisexual, but the stamens are the only fertile part, and they do not produce fruit. The corollas are tubular, 5-toothed, and the style is undivided. The plant has been cultivated so there is some variation in the description.

Primary Flower Color: Yellow
Secondary Flower Color: Yellow
Edible Notes: During the spring, the tender young leaves were cultivated by native Americans as an acceptable food source by cooking or a salad. It has along history of medicinal use as well as a chewing gum made from the natural resin.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.