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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Silphium laciniatum
Conservation status

Secure (TNC)[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Heliantheae
Genus: Silphium
Species: S. laciniatum
Binomial name
Silphium laciniatum

Silphium laciniatum (Compass Flower, Compass Plant or Rosinweed) is a species of flowering plant in the genus Silphium. It is native to east-central North America, from southern Ontario and New York south to Alabama and west across the prairies to North Dakota and Colorado south to Texas.



It is a perennial herbaceous plant similar in appearance to a sunflower, growing to 1-4 m tall, with bristly-hairy stems. The leaves are alternately arranged, and deeply pinnately lobed; the basal leaves up to 40 cm long, becoming smaller higher up the stem. The flowers are produced in flowerheads (capitula) 5-12 cm diameter, with a ring of ray florets surrounding the 2-3 cm diameter center of disc florets. Flowering is in late summer, typically from July to September.


Compass plants are so named because they tend to align their foliage East-West to present the minimum surface area to the hot noon sunshine. The taproot of the compass plant may grow to more than 9-14 ft. deep, making it hardy and resistant to drought.

Medicinal uses

The plant was used in Native American herbal medicine as a vermifuge, and to treat coughs and asthma.




Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Silphium laciniatum


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Euasterids II
Ordo: Asterales
Familia: Asteraceae
Subfamilia: Asteroideae
Tribus: Heliantheae
Subtribus: Unassigned
Genus: Silphium
Species: Silphium laciniatum


Silphium laciniatum L.


  • Species Plantarum 2:919. 1753
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Data from 07-Oct-06]. [1]

Vernacular names

Deutsch: Kompasspflanze
English: Compass plant
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Silphium laciniatum on Wikimedia Commons.


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