Tom's Blog

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Compass plant now in bloom

Compass plant (Silphium laciniatum) has just started to bloom. This great plant, one of the fine conservative prairie species (and featured in the logo of The Prairie Enthusiasts), is thriving in two of our planted prairies (Toby's and Pocket), has become well established in the Valley Prairie and is visible as seedlings in two others (Crane and Ridge). Also, it has now become established in open areas of our savannas, although not yet flowering.

At Pleasant Valley Conservancy, we first saw compass plant seedlings the second growing season but it took 5-6 years before we first had flowers. For the first few years, it is putting down deep roots. Nebraska prairie researcher John Weaver found root lengths varying from 9 to nearly 14 feet! (North American Prairie, Johnsen Publishing Co., Lincoln, Nebraska)

The photo here is from Toby's Prairie, our oldest planted prairie.

An individual plant can be long lived, but it does not necessarily flower every year.


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