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S. perfoliatum are known to be disease and herbivory resistant, although established plants can be affected by the fungus Sclerotinia. However, this depends on the size of the area it is grown on, the growing conditions as well as the crop grown before the cup plant. Crops which are very susceptible to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and therefore should not be cultivated previous to S. perfoliatum are rape seed and sunflowers.
Eggs of the gall wasp are deposited within the stems of this plant. Consequently, the developing larvae feed within the stems. American Goldfinches feed on the seeds of S. perfoliatum and drink the water collected by the “cups” on the stems. As cup plants are able to form dense colonies, they provide a good shelter for birds. Herbivores such as cattle and sheep will eat the leaves of the plant, especially those of young plants. The flowers of S. perfoliatum make it an attractive plant for many pollinators, the seeds along with the "cups" of water, formed along the stems, are attractive to birds as a food and water source. During the 1750s, the species was introduced to the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, and has been prized as an ornamental plant since. It was named in 1759 by Carl Linnaeus.
Standing tall at around six feet (more in wetter soils, less in drier soils), Cup Plant's yellow blossoms can be seen starting in July when the butterflies visit them, and then later when the birds begin to feed on its seeds. Throughout the growing season, the water held in the leaf cups attract birds and other critters looking for a drink. Cup Plant establishes well in average garden soil or in heavier, wetter soils. It is easy to start from seed by fall planting outdoors, or, if planted in spring, a period of 60 days of moist, cold stratification is recommended prior to sowing. A Prairie Moon • July 29 The maps show the historical range (native and adventive) of a native species. Adventive means it was introduced by humans but is growing successfully; and in the case of Cup Plant on the East Coast, it is very aggressive. We don't experience that here in the Midwest. Because of this, I would only suggest planting it after talking to a Professional in your state. Yes, we are surprised Cup Plant was never documented in MD. Perhaps just a lack of Botanists there at the time :) (Source: www.prairiemoon.com)