This plant takes being a pollinator plant to a whole new level. As the cup plant grows through the summer, the upper leaves grow in pairs that completely encircle the stem. These unusually sturdy leaves form a “cup” around the stem that can hold water from rain and dew that can provide a water source for insect pollinators, songbirds, and even an occasional frog!
This cup plant is big, bold, and beautiful! It has the whole package; a strong stem, useful flowers, and a large yellow flower that can’t be missed. Bees of all species love the cup plant, and so do hummingbirds.
While the cup plant doesn’t have as long of a history as some of the others, that is because its story is still being written. It is currently being studied as a potential biofuel. So, maybe one day we will all be powering our homes and driving cars that are fueled by this crazy plant.
You can experience the cup plant in your own garden by planting it in late spring/early summer. It thrives in full sun or part shade, and needs watering every few days until it becomes established, and then only when there is a serious drought.