Archive for August 15th, 2013


The sunny yellow flowers of the cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum) look beautiful against a bright blue sky. The sky is the usual backdrop you see when admiring the flowers of this eastern North American native because they top long 8 foot tall stems!

The large leaves that climb the stalks are fused in pairs with the leaf opposite. They embrace the interesting square stalk, giving the impression of the plant stalk perforating the leaves, and form a little cup that captures rain water, thus giving the plant its common name.


I’ve been a bit negligent about providing support for the heavy stalks, and the stems have splayed out from the centre.


The result is a ring of sky-high yellow flowers that dip and swing in a swaying circle.


When I walk by the circle of tall flowers, I am always reminded of a painting by Matisse titled Dance. (Photo Wikipedia)


Recently, while I was sitting in the garden reading, I was tickled to spot this goldfinch taking advantage of the water-capturing quality of the leaves that gives the plant its name. The photo is a bit soft-focus because it was shot through screening.


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