Large cluster of blooming yellow flowers.

Silphium perfoliatum

Cup Plant, Indian Cup

register or login to use the plant listPlease register or login to build your personal plant list.

Cup Plant is a tall perennial with unique, perfoliate leaves that clasp around the stem, creating reservoirs for rainwater.

See Details Below


Silphium perfoliatum, commonly referred to as Cup Plant, is a striking perennial that holds a special place in wetland gardens and natural habitats. What sets this plant apart is its distinct perfoliate leaves, which encircle the stem like cups, creating reservoirs for rainwater, a unique feature that earned it its common name.

Cup Plant’s towering height, reaching up to 10 feet, and its sunny disposition in full sun make it a standout in gardens. In midsummer, it produces an abundance of bright yellow flowers that can be quite the pollinator magnet, attracting bees, butterflies, and birds. While Silphium perfoliatum may thrive in wetter soils, it’s adaptable to a range of conditions and can tolerate periods of drought once established. Its robust and resilient nature makes it an excellent choice for gardeners who appreciate native plants and the wildlife they support.

*Disclaimer: This plant grows aggressively, self-seeding and popping up everywhere.

Plant Details:

Other Common Names: Indian Cup

Plant Type: Flower, Perennial

New Jersey Native: No

Bloom Times: Summer, Late Summer to Fall

Bloom Colors: Yellow

Deer Resistance: Some

Attracts Pollinators and Wildlife: Bees and Other Pollinators, Butterflies, Birds

Salt Tolerance: Medium

Hardiness Zone: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b

Physiographic Region: Piedmont - P, Highland - H, Coastal Plain - CP

Soil Characteristics

Soil Type: Loam, Organic, Clay

Soil Moisture: Dry, Moist, Wet

Soil pH: Neutral, Slightly Alkaline, Alkaline

Light Needs of Plant

Optimal Light: Full Sun

Light Range: Full Sun

Water Needs of Plant

Soil Moisture: Dry, Moist, Wet

Drought Tolerance: Medium

Size and Growth Rate

Height: 4 - 10 ft

Spread: 1 - 3 ft

Growth Rate: Medium