Compass Plant

Silphium laciniatum
photo from Wikimedia commons
Silphium laciniatum
<i>Silphium laciniatum</i> <i>Silphium laciniatum</i>

Widely distributed throughout our Midwestern tall grass prairies and once considered a life-saver for lost pioneers, this formidable sky-high perennial wields uniquely chiseled, up to 18 in. long basal leaves, which orient themselves on a north-south axis.

Historically crafted into chewing gum by Native Americans, stiff bristly towering stems emit a bitter resin, while large white-haired foliage is cut nearly to the midrib, resembling a Pin Oak leaf. Along the upper reaches of thick stalks, a galaxy of huge, 5 in. wide sunflower-style blooms with yellow rays, yellow centers and hairy-edged green bracts make an exuberant summer long appearance.

Employed as a bold coarse-textured backdrop in cottage gardens, wild flower plantings or mixed borders, its imposing colorful stature lures bees, butterflies and many a gardener.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 5' 0" – 8' 0" high x 18" – 2-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

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Other selections in this genus:

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Latest News

Garden Design 2019 Trends Report

Deborah's arrangement was featured in the 2019 Garden Design Trends Report! Check out the article here.



Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our featured plant: Asarum splendens

Fantastic Fall Foliage, Last Hurrah Sale!!

Fantastic Fall Foliage.... The arresting foliage of these easy-care, low growing perennials remains tidy well into November. Adequate water, mulch and a mid-season trim help ensure their staying power.

November's last hurrah.... The shorter days and cooler nights of November have set the garden ablaze with eye-catching foliar color. By planting an assortment of woody plants as well as herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses, which promote late season allure, a last hurrah is easily achieved. Each of the plants included in this newsletter bestow either plump berries, late blooms, compelling foliage or artful branching patterns. Happy Digging!

Digging Dog's Early November 2018 Newsletter Link
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