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Silphium laciniatum

Silphium laciniatum
Common name compass plant
Family asteraceae
Life cycle perennial
Flowers yellow (summer)
Size 6-8 ft
Light sun
Cultural notes average garden soil. drought-tolerant. very long tap root (may grow to 6 feet)
From seed give 2 months cold, then germinate at room temperature. self-seeds in our garden; seed ripens late (mid-late october)
detailed seed-starting info below

Prairie native whose basal leaves supposedly arrange themselves along the North-South axis (hence the common name). We can't really tell, because they're squeezed between so many other plants. Easily the most narrowly upright perennial we grow - single flower stalks rise to eight foot, and carry yellow daisies way up high. The taproots go very deep, making it difficult to transplant.

The tall stalks often flop over after being banged around by a windstorm. While it doesn't make for the tidiest appearance, it does provide an opportunity to see the flowers up close

compass plant

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from AHS '00 exchange. Baggy 35F (9w) - 70F (100%G, 2-3d)
  2. Seed from '02 garden. Baggy 35F (9w) - 70F (50%G, 5-10d)
  3. Seed from NARGS '13/'14 exchange, cold-stored. Baggy 35F (8w) - 70F (100%G, 3d)

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