Melanthium virginicum

Flowers
Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: bunchflower 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Melanthiaceae
Native Range: Eastern United States
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Creamy white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Clay Soil, Wet Soil

Culture

Can be grown in a wide range of soil types, including clay, but prefers moist, rich, slightly acidic soils in full to partial sun. In the wild this plant is found in wet prairies, bogs, fens and open seepages. Hardy in Zones 4-8.

Noteworthy Characteristics

This native perennial can take several years to mature. But once it does, the 3-5' tall inflorescence topped with a panicle of creamy, white to green flowers does not disappoint. The narrow, slightly arching, almost grass-like leaves, reaching about 15” long, form a basal rosette. This plant blooms in June to July, but the seed capsules are persistent and extend the interest of this plant in the garden. All parts of this plant contain toxic alkaloids, which discourages animal herbivory.

Specific epithet means of Virginia.

Common name refers to the panicle of flowers which top the inflorescence.

Problems

No major insect pests or diseases reported.

Garden Uses

Wet sites such as rain gardens, low-lying areas, or bog gardens. Could also perform well in a more formal perennial border.