cup plant is one of my favorite native wildflowers. everything about it is a little odd (except its yellow flower that looks just like every other yellow sunflower in the Asteraceae family). i especially love it for its strongly quadrilateral square stem and the winged petioles that fuse around the stem, forming a cup. oh, and the triplet branching–always in threes. see, all just a little odd. wonderfully odd. today, in the alley behind my favorite art supply store in saint paul, i may or may not have squealed with delight at the sight of a cup plant. p.s. this plant would definitely go in my winter STILL garden.
cup plant detail (Silphium perfoliatum)