​Silphie, a giant form of the flowering daisy plant that can grow 10 feet high may become the favored fuel of Germany’s biogas industry.


The plant with small yellow flowers whose Latin name is Silphium Perfoliatum is known as Silphie in German. It’s sometimes called the Cup Plant or Indian Cup in the U.S., where it is native. Field experiments show it has advantages over maize, since it’s a perennial that comes up every year for two decades without replanting.

The industry group representing 9,000 biogas plant owners in Germany said Silphie, which is in the same family as the daisy, has the potential to reduce costs for green energy producers who now use maize. The industry makes gas from renewable sources like plants that can be burned to make electricity.

“Maize is an extremely good resource, but people feel intimated by this big plant — it doesn’t help…

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