Plant A Day – Prairie Rosinweed

Prairie Rosinweed Silphium terebinthinaceum

Prairie Rosinweed
Silphium terebinthinaceum

This plant, more commonly known as Prairie Dock, is another of the impressive Silphiums.  It has huge basal leaves, then a stem that can reach up to the sky.  This plant is unmistakable in appearance and makes you think of North America thousands of years ago when large megafauna roamed the land.  It would fit right in with mastadons and stag-moose and horses, etc.

The species name, terebinthinaceum, is unique to this plant.  It means “smells like turpentine”.  I’ve not had the presence of mind to sniff a crushed leaf or stem of Prairie Rosinweed, but when I do I’m sure it’ll smell like turpentine.

The leaves are huge and look like burdock or rhubarb leaves

The leaves are huge and look like burdock or rhubarb leaves

The flowers look like other Silphium flowers

The flowers look like other Silphium flowers

The flower buds are different looking, like little balls

The flower buds are different looking, like little balls

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