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PlantFiles: Rattlesnake Master, Button Snakeroot
Eryngium yuccifolium

Family: Apiaceae (ay-pee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Eryngium (er-RIN-jee-um) (Info)
Species: yuccifolium (yuk-ki-FOH-lee-um) (Info)

11 vendors have this plant for sale.

23 members have or want this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Pale Green
Light Blue

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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6 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Rickwebb On Dec 16, 2013, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

I grew it for several years west of Chicago, IL, in two locations, originally ordering it from Prairie Nursery in Wisconsin. Did well, but it oftentimes seems to die from a root rot after a few years, unless perhaps it is just a short-lived perennial.. If so, it still reseeds itself nearby, as it self sows a good amount. It does well in southeast PA also in the same way. Good attractor of bees, wasps, and butterflies; especially the Blue-wined Wasp.

Positive ansonfan On Oct 16, 2009, ansonfan from Polkton, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Collect seeds by removing seedheads in autumn after they turn brown. Break apart seedhead and dry for several days.

Positive joylily514 On Jun 22, 2009, joylily514 from Katy, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

The information about its water needs is incorrect. This is a prairie plant and is very drought tolerant. It's needs are dry to moderate.

Positive quasymoto On Oct 22, 2006, quasymoto from Bloomfield, IA (Zone 5b) wrote:

We have had Rattlesnake master for a good 10 years. I have found here in Iowa it did not like the East side of the house where there was a water spigot. I moved it and have moved the plant a few times with no trouble and just realised it is in the same family as my blue sea holly. So I do like the contrast they add to an area.

Neutral melody On Aug 1, 2006, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Cultural information only.

Found they are found in pastures, woods and thickets throughout most of the eastern US from Minnesota,south to Texas, and Connecticut to Florida in the east

Livestock find the leaves distasteful.

Positive Ladyfern On May 21, 2005, Ladyfern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

Self-seeds if you leave the seed-heads on the plants. Seedlings are easily moved, but don't wait too long. Once they're established, they resent transplanting. Do not try to move or divide established plants. May need to stake the tall flower stalks. Needs excellent drainage, or it will rot over the winter. A wonderful accent plant and conversation piece.

Neutral JodyC On Jan 17, 2005, JodyC from Palmyra, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

The flowering
heads attract many kinds of insects, including long-tongued
bees, short-tongued bees, wasps, flies, butterflies,
skippers, moths, beetles, and plant bugs.
Seeking nectar, although some of the bees may collect
pollen for their brood nests. The caterpillars of the rare
Papaipema eryngii (Rattlesnake Master Borer Moth)
The coarse foliage and
prickly balls of flowers are not popular as a source of
food with mammalian herbivores, although they may nibble
the leaves.

Positive MotherNature4 On Oct 13, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This attractive native plant may be grown through zone 10a. It is a wonderful "starter" for a native plant garden because it is easy to grow.

Neutral smiln32 On Oct 12, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

The name "Rattlesnake Master" is due to an old myth that the roots could be used to heal rattlesnake bites. It looks a lot like a yucca plant. Makes a good accent plant.

Neutral mystic On Aug 8, 2001, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant stumps many beginning wildflower enthusiasts. A member of the carrot family, it looks similar to a small yucca or agave: broad, linear leaves that taper to a sharp point and grow in dense, stemless rosettes. Unlike true yuccas and agaves, rattlesnake master grows best in moist habitats (although it is also sometimes found in drier areas.) The flower heads are aggregated into white, rounded heads. A very ornamental and popular species of Eryngium.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Opelika, Alabama
Huntington, Arkansas
Morrilton, Arkansas
Menifee, California
Bartow, Florida
Palm Coast, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Lula, Georgia
Divernon, Illinois
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
La Grange Park, Illinois
Machesney Park, Illinois
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Bloomfield, Iowa
Louisville, Kentucky
Taylorsville, Kentucky
Jennings, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Pollock, Louisiana
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Watervliet, Michigan
Eveleth, Minnesota
Madison, Mississippi
Cross Timbers, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Lincoln, Nebraska
Frenchtown, New Jersey
New Milford, New Jersey
Polkton, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Toledo, Ohio
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Charleston, South Carolina
Dallas, Texas
Fate, Texas
Merit, Texas
Burlington, Vermont
Staunton, Virginia
Bryn Mawr-skyway, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Great Cacapon, West Virginia
Rice Lake, Wisconsin

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