Biological Name:

Silphium spp. (Rosinweed)

Natural Habitat:

Rosinweed: Prairies and grasslands, North America


Rosinweed is a tall spiny weed that grows in fields and along roadsides. It has large spiny leaves and yellow or white flowers that grow in clusters at the top of the plant. It is difficult to control once established and can spread quickly if not kept in check.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is Rosinweed used for?
A: Rosinweed is a plant. The root is used as a homeopathic medicine. It is used for treating digestive disorders. Don’t confuse rosinweed (Silphium laciniatum) with cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum), which is also known as rosinweed.

Q: Where is Rosinweed native to?
A: Rosin Weed (S. integrifolium) – Native to central Canada and the U.S., zones 4 – 8. Blooms from July – September, 2 – 6 feet in height.

Q: Why does cup plant hold water?
A: Its common name (Cup Plant) comes from the characteristic where two large leaves join together at its thick stalk, forming a cup. This cup can hold rainwater, and is thought to possibly be an evolutionary trap for insects trying to climb the plant to eat the flowers.

Q: Are Beronias native to Australia?
A: Boronias are an Australian endemic species covering about 160 different species of the Rutaceae family. Even though they fall under a citrus family, these plants are prized for their bright and fragrant blooms – often used in the cut flower trade.

Q: Are Cupheas native to Australia?
A: Cupheas are native to Mexico and Brazil. There are around two hundred and sixty species and they are mostly low growing annuals, perennials or shrubs with tubular flowers and small leaves.

Q: Are Marayas native to Australia?
A: The cultivar Murraya paniculata ‘Exotica’ (which is sometimes treated as a separate species, Murraya exotica) is not native to Australia but is widely cultivated as a garden and hedge plant. It is a potential environmental weed, e.g. naturalised in NE New South Wales and Queensland.

Q: Where did Iceplant come from?
A: Iceplant is a coastal succulent shrub native to the coast of South Africa, where the climate is similar to that of coastal California. Iceplant was introduced to California in the early 1900s as an erosion stabilization tool used on railroad tracks, and later used by Caltrans on roadsides.

Q: Are Dianellas native to Australia?
A: Dianella, also known as blueberry lily, blue flax lily or black anther flax lily, is native to Australia and many of the garden cultivars stem from four of the native strains: Dianella caerulea, Dianella revoluta, Dianella prunina, and Dianella tasmanica.

Q: What is silflower?
A: What is Silflower??? Silphium integrifolium (silflower) is a perennial wildflower native to the central United States. It has been identified as having high potential as a perennial oilseed crop because of its relatively large seeds.

Q: Is compass plant a sunflower?
A: Compass Plant is one of a group of tall, mostly prairie sunflowers, some with very large leaves. The common name refers to the plant’s deeply incised leaves, which tend to be oriented in a north-south direction.

Q: How long does compass plant live?
A: Compass Plant is an iconic prairie flower, named for its remarkably large basal leaves that often orient themselves in a north-south direction. Individual plants may grow slowly, but are very long-lived and have been known to live for nearly 100 years.

Q: Where should I plant a compass?
A: Full sun is the major requirement of this easily cultivated, hardy species (Art, 1991). It is found on a variety of soil types, but it needs a moist, deep subsoil to thrive. The easiest way to propagate compass plant is by planting stratified seed in the spring or unstratified seed in the fall.

Q: How tall does compass plant grow?
A: Basic Description. A tall sturdy plant with large, finely lobed basal leaves. Large, yellow sunflower-like flowers bloom in loose spikes in summer on stiff stems to 9 ft. tall.

Q: How long does it take for a compass plant to bloom?
A: Compass Plant Care Be patient; two or three years are required for compass plant seedlings to grow into full-size, blooming plants, as most the energy is directed towards development of the roots. However, once the plant is established, it can survive for up to 100 years. Established plants self-seed readily.

Q: Is compass plant a perennial?
A: The Compass Plant (Silphium laciniatum) is a tall, long-lived, low-maintenance perennial member of the sunflower family.

Q: Can you transplant a compass plant?
A: You can successfully transplant young or small tap-rooted plants, but consider leaving older plants alone. These include plants like milkweeds, pale purple coneflower, compass plant and wild indigo.

About the author

Samuel is a gardening professional and enthusiast who has spent over 20 years advising homeowners and farm owners on weed identification, prevention and removal. He has an undergraduate degree in plant and soil science from Michigan State University.