Stay in the know about wildlife, water quality, and ecosystems on Sanibel and Captiva Islands and in Southwest Florida

Meet the Natives: Rattlesnake Master

July 8, 2024
rattlesnake master

The rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium) is a sun-loving, native wildflower that can thrive in a variety of soil types and conditions. It can be found throughout the eastern U.S.

The species epithet yuccifolium, meaning “yucca-like leaves,” is a reference to this plant’s rosette of linear-shaped leaves that resemble the foliage of yucca species. Although the leaves resemble yucca, Eryngiums are actually members of the carrot family.

rattlesnake master

While rattlesnake master generally prefers habitats with moist soil conditions, its extensive root system also allows it to survive during periods of drought. 

Rattlesnake master puts on a beautiful display of white flowers during the summer. At first glance each globe seems like a singular flower, but if you look closely, many tiny white flowers cluster together to form these unique globes that sit atop 3- to 5-feet-tall flowering stems. 

When planted in the landscape, you might find an assortment of native pollinators passing through for a visit. Rattlesnake master is a host plant for the black swallowtail butterfly, monarchs, and skippers, and other butterflies often stop by to collect nectar. Other floral visitors include bees, wasps, beetles, and flies.  


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