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Silphium laciniatum - L.

Common Name Compass Plant, Robinson's compassplant
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards There is a report that the plant might be toxic[222].
Habitats Prairies and glades[222]. Calcareous or sandy soils and prairies in Texas[274].
Range Central N. America - Ohio to Minnesota, south to Alabama and Texas.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Silphium laciniatum Compass Plant, Robinson


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Tout%C3%ADor%C3%AEx
Silphium laciniatum Compass Plant, Robinson
Jeff McMillian @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Silphium laciniatum is a PERENNIAL growing to 2 m (6ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 4. It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Plant Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Gum

A resin exudes naturally from the plant, and can also be obtained by incision[4]. It is an inexpensive substitute for mastic and is used as a chewing gum to sweeten the breath[4, 61, 105, 257]. It forms on the upper part of the flowering stem[183].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Diuretic  Emetic  Expectorant  Tonic  Vermifuge

The resin obtained from the plant is diuretic[4, 61, 222]. It imparts a strong aromatic odour to urine[4]. A tea made from the roots is vermifuge and a tonic for general debility[4, 61, 222]. It is used as an expectorant in coughs and other pulmonary ailments[4]. A decoction of the smaller roots has been used as an emetic[257]. A tea made from the leaves is emetic, it has also been used in the treatment of coughs, lung ailments and asthma[222].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Gum

None known

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Hydrocarbon  Management: Standard  Wild Crop

Succeeds in any ordinary garden soil[1]. Prefers a deep moisture retentive moderately fertile soil that is not too nitrogen rich, in sun or dappled shade[200]. Prefers a shady position[200]. A very ornamental plant[1]. Leaves of young plants tip vertically and align themselves north to south to minimise exposure to the midday sun[200]. Plants have a deep and extensive root system which makes transplanting difficult[200]. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 9 through 5. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a runner spreading indefinitely by rhizomes or stolons [1-2].

Carbon Farming

  • Industrial Crop: Hydrocarbon  Materials, chemicals and energy include bioplastics, rubber, biomass products gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, butane, propane, biogas. Plants are usually resprouting plants and saps.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Wild Crop  Some wild plants have strong historical or contemporary use. Although they are not cultivated crops, they may be wild-managed.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse[200]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring[188]. This is very difficult due to the deep and extensive root system.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

NORTHERN AMERICA: Canada, Ontario (south), United States, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, New Mexico, Texas,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Silphium integrifoliumPrairie RosinweedPerennial1.8 4-8 FLMHNDM312
Silphium laeve Perennial0.0 4-8  LMHSNM10 
Silphium perfoliatumCup Plant, RosinweedPerennial2.5 3-7 MLMHSNM020
Silphium terebinthinaceumPrairie Dockm, Prairie rosinweed, Lucy Braun's rosinweedPerennial1.5 4-8  LMHSNM021
Silphium trifoliatumWhorled rosinweedPerennial1.8 4-6 MLMHSNDM002

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

43200274

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Parker Anderson   Thu Oct 12 2006

Need more detail on root system. Other wise, very helpful! Thank you!

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