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Useful Temperate Plants

Silphium perfoliatum

L.

Asteraceae

+ Synonyms

Silphium connatum L.

Silphium scabrum Moench

Common Name: Cup Plant

No Image.

General Information

Silphium perfoliatum is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from a fibrous rootstock, it produces a basal clump of leaves in its first year of growth, in following years also producing flowering leafy stems 75 - 300cm tall[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine. It is receiving increasing interest (as of 2017) as a biomass crop and is also often grown as an ornamental.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

43
Title
Gray's Manual of Botany.Eighth Edition
Publication
 
Author
Fernald. M. L.
Publisher
American Book Co.; New York
Year
1950
ISBN
0442222505
Description
A bit dated but a good and concise flora of the eastern part of N. America.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.

Range

Eastern and central N. America - North Dakota to Ontario and Vermont, south to Texas, Alabama and North Carolina

Habitat

Rich woods, thickets, river banks and prairies[
43
Title
Gray's Manual of Botany.Eighth Edition
Publication
 
Author
Fernald. M. L.
Publisher
American Book Co.; New York
Year
1950
ISBN
0442222505
Description
A bit dated but a good and concise flora of the eastern part of N. America.
]. Wet prairies, open forests, and river bottoms at elevations of 50 - 500 metres[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitPerennial
Height2.00 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Silphium perfoliatum is a very cold-hardy plant, able to tolerate temperatures down to around -30°c when fully dormant[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Succeeds in any ordinary garden soil[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
]. Prefers a deep moisture retentive moderately fertile soil that is not too nitrogen rich, succeeding in full sun or dappled shade[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Prefers moist, rich soils, but tolerates some drought once established[
352
Title
KemperCentreForHomeGardeningPlantFinder
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic cultivation details, plant uses, habitat etc for several thousand species of plants, mainly from the temperate zone.
].
Plants have a deep and extensive root system which makes transplanting difficult.
An aromatic resin exudes from the crushed leaves and stems[
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
].

Edible Uses

Young leaves - harvested in Spring and cooked as greens[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

A gum obtained from the plant has been used for chewing, and is said to help prevent vomiting[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

Medicinal

Cup plant was employed medicinally by several native North American tribes who used it to treat a variety of complaints[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
]. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism.

A decoction of the root has been used to treat the stoppage of periods, and also to treat morning sickness and to prevent the premature birth of a child[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
]. In view of these conflicting uses, it is best that it is not used by pregnant women unless under the guidance of a qualified practitioner[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

The root is alterative, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hepatic, stimulant, styptic and tonic. It is used in the treatment of liver and spleen disorders and has also been used to treat morning sickness[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
,
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
]. A decoction of the root has been used internally in the treatment of back and chest pain and lung haemorrhages[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].
A decoction of the root has been used as a face wash to treat paralysis[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
]. A poultice of the moistened dried root has been applied to wounds to stop the bleeding[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

A gum obtained from the plant has been used for chewing, and is said to help prevent vomiting[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Silphium perfoliatum is easily cultivated as a crop, grows well on poor and degraded land, and is able to produce a considerable amount of biomass. It is being trialled (2017) as a potential source of material for biogas production. It has similar yields to Maize (Zea species), and because it is a perennial, requires much less work after its first year of establishment[
1651
Title
Researches concerning the potential of biomass accumulation in cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum L.)
Publication
Journal of Horticulture, Forestry and Biotechnology; Volume 22(2), 34- 39, 2018
Author
Noemi Jucsor, Sumalan R.
Website
http://www.journal-hfb.usab-tm.ro
Publisher
 
Year
2018
ISBN
 
Description
 
,
1652
Title
Performance of Sida hermaphrodita and Silphium perfoliatum in Europe: Preliminary Results
Publication
26th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, 14-17 May 2018, Copenhagen, Denmark
Author
Facciotto G. et al
Publisher
 
Year
2018
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Stored seed responds better if given a 12 week cold stratiification pror to sowing[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer.
Division in spring[
188
Title
The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Publication
 
Author
Brickell. C.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-86318-386-7
Description
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
]. This is very difficult due to the deep and extensive root system.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2021-06-20. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Silphium+perfoliatum>

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