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What's Up in Barb's Yard? - Rattlesnake Master!

June 28, 2019

By: Barb Holtz

Spent the end of last week literally sitting in my garden bed plucking interlopers from around intended seedlings. It's a thrill even for this old botanist to welcome nascent sprouts into the garden fold. So bright and green and full of promise. It's been a treat to truly decipher who's who as their lives begin.

I love all my germinating kids, but Rattlesnake Master is one of my favorites. If you like the look of yucca in a landscape, consider swapping it out for this native instead. Rattlesnake Master isn't a yucca doppleganger, but it ranks a close second in my book. Its spiky leaves and stalked flowers fill the bill nicely.

Before scattering seeds late last fall, I dumped them into my cupped hand and took a deep smell. Rattlesnake Master seeds have a distinct aroma like grassy hay with a touch of citrus. It's fresh and pleasant. Today, I realize my "rattlesnake babies" may not bloom this year because they focus energy on roots and leaves. A solid grounding upsurps ephemeral blooms if the goal is enduring life.

So stop and smell the seed. Lure pollinators in with lollipop flowers. Give Rattlesnake Master a try.

Baby picture: Just the beginning! Tiny spikes on first leaves give away seedling identity.
The Latin name, Eryngium yuccifolium, means "prickly plant" "yucca leaves".

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