Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium)


Rattlesnake Master is a perennial that can grow to four feet tall with greenish white blooms and flowers from June to September.    This plant is in the parsley family and likes well drained soil in full sun.      This is a tap-rooted plant that does not transplant well once established but it will self seed.   The Cherokee name for this plant translates “a little base of mother corn that encompasses all” because the leaves look similar to corn and it surrounds the base of the plant.  The above picture was taken in Tahlequah, Oklahoma at the Cherokee Nation’s Heritage Garden.

The Cherokee called it warrior’s plant and survival kit.   Hunters would carry the button root of this plant on their person because if they came across a snake it would crawl away from them.   The root was used as a snake bite remedy, by chewing on the root and swallowing some of the juice which placing the rest on the snakebite.   The tentacles were used to treat cancer.  The blossom were make into a poultice and placed on the belly button of a new born baby to promote it healing and dropping off.



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