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Plant Profile  
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Common Name: Compass Plant

Other names: Rosin Weed

Species Name: Silphium laciniatum

Plant Type: Forb

Family Name: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family





Plant Facts  
Origin Native
Duration Perennial
Distribution in the U.S. Midwest, from Minnesota south to Arkansas and Texas
Distribution in Oklahoma Throughout the state, highest populations in center half of state



ID Characteristics

  • Field Identification Characteristics


    • Very large multi-forked, lobed, “oak-like” leaves that come from base of plant
    • Stems have rough texture; ooze a thick sap when broken
    • Name derived from leaf blades planar direction; up-and-down, “north/south”


    • Large yellow flower heads on tall, erect stem
  • Leaf and Stem Characteristics
    • Leaf Type: Simple
    • Leaf Arrangement: Basal, alternate
    • Leaf Shape: Deeply lobed (laciniate to pinnatifid)
    • Stipules: Absent
  • Floral Characteristics
    • Petal Number: 15+
    • Flower Color: Yellow
    • Flower Timing: July-September
    • Fruit Type: Achene



Soil Type Loam, clay, sandy and rocky soil
Habitat Tallgrass prairie
Successional Stage Mid to late


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