rattlesnake master

Eryngium yuccifolium

Other Common Names

beargrass, button eryngo

Plant Type

Herbaceous Wildflower

Life Cycle


Typical Size

4-5 ft. tall
2-3 ft. wide

Tolerant of

Occasional Flooding


By seed, By division

Plant Propagation Notes

Seeds require cold-moist stratification for at least 2 months. Mature plants can be divided in spring or early fall.

Plant Planting Notes

Taprooted perennial that does not transplant well. Best left undisturbed once established.


Moles and voles may feed on the crowns in winter. Stems sometimes fall over, especially if not planted in full sun, and will require staking.

Wildlife Benefits

Nectar/pollen source for pollinating insects, Host plant for butterfly larvae


The simple, linear leaves are arranged in a basal rosette and are prickly. Leaves are often longer than 6 inches and about 1-3 inches wide.


The acorn-shaped flowers are borne in clumps of 8-10. Each flower has five white petals and five white stamens with brown anthers. Fragrant.


Quarter inch schizocarp with two seeds per fruit.


No known toxicity.

Eryngium yuccifolium

USDA Hardiness Zones

3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Light Exposure

Full Sun

Soil Moisture

Medium, Moist

Soil Drainage


Soil pH

Acidic (less than 6.0), Neutral (6.0-8.0), Basic (greater than 8.0)

Native in South Carolina?


Plant Native Habitat

diabase barrens and glades, olivine barrens, pine savannas, pine flatwoods over loamy or clay soils, prairies, other open sites with at least periodic moisture, generally in sites showing some prairie affinities.

Global Conservation Status (NatureServe)

Secure (G5)

Federal Conservation Status (USFWS)

Not Listed

Distribution Notes

Uncommon in the South Carolina Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and Mountains


Eryngium yuccifolium var. yuccifolium

Eryngium yuccifolium var. synchaetum