Compassplant (Silphium laciniatum)
JULY-AUGUST Compassplant Silphium laciniatum L. (COMPOSITE FAMILY)
Compassplant is an erect perennial 3-8 ft tall with coarse, stiff hairs. The alternate leaves are deeply pinnatifid or bipinnatifid, clustered at the base, and with stiff hairs, particularly on the main veins. The upper leaves are reduced in size and may be entire. The inflorescence is racemelike of several heads with yellow ray and disk florets. The fruit is a broad achene, winged and notched. The leaves of this plant commonly align, with the edges in a north-south direction. The plant also is resinous throughout, the exudate being chewed as gum. This plant is most commonly found in hay meadows or other ungrazed areas, since livestock will seek it out.