Common names: Rattlesnake master, button eryngo, and button snake-root,
Eryngium yuccifolium is a perennial plant native to American prairies and can be found in bed 91 in the Succulent Garden . It can be traced back 8,000 years and was used for shoes and clothing. Shamans used it for handling rattlesnakes, and the root was a common venom antidote.
It is pollinated by a variety of insects, including butterflies.
Photos and story by Hughie Jones
Close-up photo of flower with tachnid fly by Janet Davis, with permission