Home Prairie and Wetland Center
16245 S US Hwy 71
Belton, MO 64012
Tel: (816) 331-9738
Fax: (816) 331-9739

Silphium laciniatum

Compass Plant

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Silphium laciniatum (Compass Plant)

A Plants of Merit winner, this tall sturdy plant with deeply cut basal leaves adds form and texture to the landscape. The leaves resemble pinoak. In summer, large yellow sunflower-like flowers bloom on stiff spikes nine feet tall. The common name comes from a pioneer practice of using the reliable north-south orientation of the leaves for direction on cloudy days.

Additional Information:

48-84 Inches


12-36 Inches


Bloom/Seasonal Color
Medium Yellow

USDA Hardiness Zone 3-7

Home Owner Growing and Maintenance Tips:

Good Companions
Pale Purple Coneflower (Echinacea pallida), Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), Rough Blazing Star (Liatris aspera), Slender Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (flexuosum)), Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)

Characteristics & Attributes

Hydrologic Designation


Nature Attracting


Season of Interest

Late (July-frost)

Soil Moisture


Special Uses

Fresh Cut Flower

Sun Exposure

Full Sun

USFS MO Ecological Map

Wildlife Benefit