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Silphium laciniatum - Compass Plant

Sun Exposure: Sun

Soil Moisture: Medium-Wet, Medium, Medium-Dry, Dry

Soil Type: Sand-Loam, Loam, Loam-Clay

Height: 8 feet feet

Spread: 2 feet

Blooms: July, August, September

Root: Taproot

Habitat: Black soil Prairies, Sand prairies, Savannas, Glades, Along railroads

Landscape uses: Pollinator garden, Meadow planting, Naturalization, Deer resistent

Complimentary Plants: Big Bluestem, Dense Blazing Star, Rattlenake master

Wildlife Value: Long-tongued bees are the primary pollinators of the flowers, including bumblebees, Miner bees, large Leaf-Cutting bees. Butterflies drink the nectar. Birds eat the seeds. 

Seed Origin: Winona, MN (Prairie Moon seed supplier)

Germination Code: C(60)


Photo credits: #1 by Eric Hunt, #2 by Peter Chen, #3 by peganum

Silphium laciniatum - Compass Plant

Comming Soon
  • A true iconic Prairie plant - Compass Plant is named for its large basal leaves that often orient themselves in a north-south direction. Individual plants may grow slowly, but are very long-lived - up to 100 years! Mature plants are impressive, and produce numerous large yellow flowers along the stem, that open from July through September. Pollinators are very attracted to the flowers and birds seek out the very nutritious seeds.

    Prairies are one of the most endangered habitats on the planet, with Compass Plant populations decreasing as a result. Where there was once seemingly endless prairie, there are now only echoes of a lost world. As the great Aldo Leopold once said, "What a thousand acres of Silphiums looked like when they tickled the bellies of the buffalo is a question never again to be answered, and perhaps not even asked."

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