Fat buds like smooth rumped babies bulge against green swaddling
sunshine petals slyly slipping out, yellow toes wiggling free.
Thick seeds stand at attention
toy soldiers with swords drawn.
Silphium grows wider before growing taller
broad leaves embracing the sun.
Tall and awkward, silphium perfoliatum stands in the corner
and waits to dance,
revealing to those who look closely
a most beautiful heart.
Silphium perfoliatum is a native plant also known as cup plant. It's seeds are prized by goldfinches and other small birds. Its most distinguishing feature is the leaf joint around the square stems that holds water and dew, creating a water source for birds and insects. It can grow to be over 6 ft tall and lives in the back corner of my dog run, where it can take advantage of my neighbors sprinkler system.