Cup Plant studied as biomass or carbon storage crop

Silphium perfoliatum

Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum), one of the prairie’s big-personality forbs, is being studied to explore its potential as a biomass crop that can store carbon from the atmosphere in its deep and complex root system. If you’ve introduced this plant into a damp portion of your property, you know it can become a taller-than-you competitor for garden space. However, mixed with co-evolved grasses (already recognized for their biofuel value), it offers diversity, habitat, and adaptive range to conservation real estate. Read more about South Dakota State University’s research project, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, here.

Photo source: John Hilty
Illinois Wildflowers
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