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New Plant
New/Featured for 2020

Full Sun
Full Sun

Partial Shade
Partial Shade

Shade Lover
Full Shade

Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant

Picture Available
Picture Available

Drawing Available
Drawing Available

(PPAF) = Propagation of this plant prohibited without a license.

Hardiness Zone Map


Compass Plant

Silphium laciniatum
photo from Wikimedia commons
Silphium laciniatum

Silphium

<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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