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ERYNGIUM yuccifolium

Image of Eryngium yuccifolium

Russell Stafford



Botanical Name

ERYNGIUM yuccifolium

Plant Common Name

Button Snakeroot, Rattlesnake Master

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Sword-shaped clumps of spiny, gray-green leaves are topped in summer by tall stems of pale silvery-green flowers on the imposing rattlesnake master. A semi-evergreen perennial that grows from a deep taproot, it is native to the rocky, drier glades and prairies across the eastern United States. It is an upright plant that will become a tufted clump.

Each leaf is sword-shaped, blue-gray to gray-green and has spines along the edges. Leaves cluster in a basal rosette. In midsummer onwards, towering branched stem rise above the mass of foliage. The rounded, thistle-like flower clusters have hundereds of tiny pale green flowers that attract bees and butterflies. Around each cluster is a collar of oval, whitish gray-green bracts (modified leaves). These flowers are long-lasting and linger well into winter even after they dry. It will self-sow.

Grow rattlesnake master in full sun in a fertile soil that is gritty, moist but certainly well-draining. Appreciating water in the heat of summer, it is very well adapted to hot sun, humidity and droughts. Since it has a deep taproot, it is best left undisturbed once established, allowing seedling to sprout and a quick transplanting before the root gets too large. Use rattlesnake master as a clumping accent in a sunny mixed border, hot foundation planting bed, rockery or in a gravelly nook of a tall or shortgrass meadow. Situate it away from walkways or seating areas.


  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type


  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    United States, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, North-Central United States, Central United States, South-Central United States, Texas

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate


  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Flower Color

    Light Green, Gray Green, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Gray Green, Ivory, Silver

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green, Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Light Green, Gray Green, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Flower Petal Number


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Foliage Texture


  • Foliage Sheen


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Dried Flower/Everlasting, Foundation, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Attracts


  • Self-Sowing