Eryngium yuccifolium
Rattlesnake-master or button snakeroot
Image of Eryngium yuccifolium

Photo by Ryan P. O'Connor 

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Key Characteristics

Tall perennial forb (1 m) of prairies, savannas, and fens; leaves linear and elongate with occasional spines, blue-green in color; flowers white, borne in several round heads atop tall stalks.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: T
  • State Rank: S2
  • Global Rank: G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
St. Joseph62013
Van Buren52009
Distribution map for Eryngium yuccifolium

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Occurs in sedge and grass-dominated portions of prairie fen complexes, including thickets along stream drainages. Also found in sandy soils and wet prairies in former oak savannas and oak barrens, often occurring in small remnants along power lines and railroad rights-of-way. The species likely occurred historically in a variety of prairie and savanna habitats.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

Red-osier dogwood, cat-tails, marsh fern, sensitive fern, golden-alexanders, white camass, Culver's root, rosin-weed, golden-alexanders, prairie Indian-plantain, blazing star, red-osier dogwood, edible valerian, prairie dock, spiderwort.


Maintain openings through use of prescribed fire, which will reduce vigorous woody plant competition.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Aug 18, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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