Edge of the Prairiethe sand prairies and savannas of the Chicago region

    Eryngium yuccifolium
    Rattlesnake master

Rattlesnake master is one of the signature species of the tall grass prairie, and in sand country it is generally found in more mesic, black sand situations. The plant shown here is part of fairly extensive colony growing on a railroad prairie on English Lake Road, north of North Judson in Starke County, Indiana. The colony has previously been harvested for use in the dried flower trade.

Eryngium yuccifolium

The plant gets its species name from the yucca-like leaves. When one comes upon this plant for the first time, it seems like one that would be more at home under a tropical sun, and in fact most of its close relatives are natives to Mexico and South and Central America, with a few other native to the Mediterranean region and near east. [source]

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Close-Up View the same individual shown above. [172k]

Colony of Rattlesnake master on a railroad prairie in Starke County, Indiana. [138k]

All photographs by Marty Lucas and © Becknell and Lucas Media, Ltd. Students may freely use these images in school reports not for publication without requesting permission. Others, please request permission by writing e-mail to Marty Lucas. Requests for uses aiding in the understanding and appreciation of prairies and native plants are routinely granted. Higher resolution photographs (sans copyright notice) suitable for printing are available for purchase.


Eryngium yuccifolium on the Mallorn Computing web site includes some suggestions for landscape uses for this distinctive plant.

Eryngium yuccifolium at the Wisconsin State Herbarium.

Spinn Prairie Nature Preserve, a TNC project in White County, Indiana has a population of Rattlesnake Masters.



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