Eryngium aquaticum

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Eryngium aquaticum.jpg
Eryngium aquaticum[1]

Apparently Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Eryngium
Species: E. aquaticum
Binomial name
Eryngium aquaticum

Eryngium aquaticum is a species of flowering plant in the carrot family known by the common name rattlesnakemaster,[2] marsh rattlesnake master,[3] corn-snakeroot, bitter snakeroot, and marsh eryngo.[4] This plant is native to eastern North America.[3]

This biennial or perennial herb grows up to 2 meters tall. The ribbed, erect stem branches toward the top. There are alternately arranged leaves which are lance-shaped and toothed on the edges. The basal leaves may be up to 90 centimeters long by 9 wide. The inflorescence contains white to blue flower heads with spiny, blue-tinged bracts.[4]

In the wild this plant grows in wet soils, such as those by bogs, marshes, and ditches. It tolerates saturated soils and periodic flooding.[4]

This plant had a number of medicinal uses for Native American groups. The Cherokee people used it for nausea.[5] The Choctaw people used it as a remedy for snakebite and gonorrhea, and the Delaware people used it for intestinal worms.[5] Many groups made it into tea to treat gastrointestinal complaints. The Koasati attributed magical powers to the plant.[2]

This plant is used in flower arranging and as an ornamental garden plant.[4] However, most plants sold under the name E. aquaticum are actually specimens of Eryngium yuccifolium.[4][6]


  1. ^ Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 2: 622. Courtesy of Kentucky Native Plant Society. Scanned by Omnitek Inc.
  2. ^ a b Eryngium aquaticum. USDA Plants Profile.
  3. ^ a b Eryngium aquaticum. NatureServe.
  4. ^ a b c d e Eryngium aquaticum. USDA NRCS Plant Guide.
  5. ^ a b Eryngium aquaticum. University of Michigan Ethnobotany.
  6. ^ Eryngium aquaticum. Missouri Botanical Garden.