Sun-filled arid areas
Midwestern United States to Oregon and Nevada
Least Concern (IUCN Red List)
This species is
to the Truckee Meadows.
If you’ve ever taken a walk in northern Nevada between April and August, chances are you’ve stumbled upon a prince’s plume in full bloom. This beautiful desert plant gained its name from its fluffy, small, and bright yellow flowers and its impressive height, which can reach up to 5 feet! The stem of this plant is mostly woody and its leaves are fairly simple and can be anywhere between 1.5 and 2 inches wide.
Did you know that the prince’s plume is able to absorb a chemical called selenium from the soil? Selenium is toxic to livestock and symptoms of selenium poisoning include weight loss, vision impairment, and aimless wandering.
Though prince’s plume can be harmful to livestock, its seeds and leaves are safe for human consumption. The seeds can be ground and used in soups or other dishes.
Indiegnous Americans used prince’s plume root to help treat rheumatic pain, toothaches, and earaches.
The prince’s plume thrives in dry hills and valleys and strongly prefers being in the sun. Additionally, these plants are perennial meaning that they last all year long and therefore are suited to hardy weather and can grow in even nutrient-poor soil.
Due to its resilient nature the prince’s plume can be found along southern Oregon, northern Nevada, Utah, and parts of the midwestern United States. Because of its wide range, the prince’s plume is sometimes referred to as the “sentinel of the plains.”
Across its range, prince’s plume is native to most regions and is known for providing much-needed nutrients to local pollinators and insects.
Prince’s Plume, Prince's Plume Information Page, Accessed 21 Feb 2021
26. July 2007, Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses, https://www.kswildflower.org/flower_details.php?flowerID=32, Accessed 21 Feb 2021
2009 Jan, Prince’s Plume in the Landscape, https://www.fs.fed.us/rm/boise/research/shrub/projects/GBNPSIP_TechNotes/Horticulture/HG_Native_Plants_2009-05.pdf, Accessed 21 Feb 2021.
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