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Audubon® Culvers Root
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This stately Spirit will lend a structural element to your garden. In summer, Culver’s Root raises its slim white spikes, arranged symmetrically around a central spire, high in the sky. Garden writers Piet Oudolf and Henk Gerritsen call the look “Gothic.” Even before flowering, however, the plant is architectural. The dark green leaves climb the stems in clearly defined tiers of foliage. Not merely eye candy, Culver’s Root is valuable to pollinators, too. It nourishes native bees and butterflies, while looking sharp in the landscape. Use it in mixed borders, foundation plantings, cottage gardens, and wildlife-friendly spaces of all sorts.
May Benefit & Attract: cardinals & grosbeaks, wrens, sparrows, thrushes, orioles, finches, mockingbirds & thrashers, vireos, wood warblers
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 3-8
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Recommended by Our Growers
This plant reportedly gets its name from an early eighteenth–century physician, Dr. Culver, who used it medicinally, as a laxative. No other information seems to remain about him, though his name lives on in the plant. Culver’s Root is a cherished American Spirit that many regions can claim as a native wildflower. It can be found in the wild from North Dakota to Maine in the North and from East Texas to Florida in the South (it also ranges into Canada). Native bees cherish Culver Root for its generous offerings of nectar and pollen. Bumblebees, mason bees, masked bees, and sweat bees are its biggest fans.
Try Culver’s Root with Garden Phlox, another American native Spirit. The chunky pink cones of the Phlox will contrast nicely with the skinny white spikes of Culver’s Root. They bloom at the same time, and both like to grow in the same conditions.
How to Grow
Culver’s Root favors full sun or light shade. Afternoon shade is recommended in the South, though an excess of shade can lead to floppy stems. This plant is not particularly drought tolerant and must either be watered during dry spells or planted in a low spot that naturally stays moist. It is slow growing and takes a few years to really shine. Once it bulks up, however, it becomes a magnificent specimen. It is long-lived and doesn’t need to be divided to keep it growing vigorously, like some perennials do. Leave stems standing for winter architecture, then cut them down in early spring.
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