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Compass Plant
Silphium laciniatum

Coarse, perennial native herb to a mature height of up to 10'. This species has been used in buffer and slope stabilization. It has also had success in the restorations of mesic-to-wet prairies and the edges of rainwater gardens.

USDA symbol: SILA3

General Information

Plant TypeForb
Height6 to 9 feet
Light ExposureSun
Soil MoistureDry
Bloom ColorYellow
Compass Plant (Compass Plant<div><em class="small">Silphium laciniatum</em></div>)
Photo credit: Minnesota Native Landscapes (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceLow
General Resilience8
Salt ToleranceLow
Stress ToleranceGeneral Disturbance

Pollinator Value: Very High

Bloom MonthsJuly to August
Larval Host ofMoths
Specific Pollinators HostedEucosma giganteana, Papaipema silphii
Pollinator BenefitInsect Pollinated, Provides Nectar, Stem Nesting, Supports Generalists

Project Planning

Project TypeErosion Control, Rain Garden, Restoration
Coefficient of Conservatism8
Herbivore SensitivityMedium
Rate of SpreadSlow
Soil StabilizationDeep
Vegetative ReproductionAbsent


CountyBlue Earth, Dakota, Dodge, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Jackson, Lincoln, Martin, Mower, Murray, Nobles, Olmsted, Pipestone, Ramsey, Rice, Rock, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, Washington, Winona
EcoregionDriftless Area, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Glaciated Plains, Northern Lakes and Forests, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland