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SILPHIUM terebinthinaceum

Image of Silphium terebinthinaceum

Jesse Saylor

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

SILPHIUM terebinthinaceum

Plant Common Name

Prairie Dock, Prairie Rosinweed

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Towering above prairie grasses and other wildflowers, prairie dock cannot be missed in mid to late summer when the bright yellow flowers appear. A tall, clump forming herbaceous perennial with unique leaves, it is from eastern Canada southward into the southern United States.

The tall stems, if cut open, will exude a resin and turpentine fragrance. The leaves are oval to heart-like and usually are in a basal clump, growing from the taproot. Each leaf has a sandpaper texture with coarse teeth on the edges. In the latter half of summer the stem tips form branches that are topped by yellow daisies that attract bees and butterflies.

Grow prairie dock in full to partial sun in any average soil that has good drainage. Although neutral to alkaline soils are ideal, it tolerates lightly acidic and nutrient poor soils well. Use this imposing perennial as a tall accent among ornamental grasses in a meadow, or in the rear of a mixed border. The often leaning tall stems nicely display the flowers at eye level, being especially pretty with tall ornamental grasses as a foil.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    7'-10' / 2.1m - 3.0m

  • Width

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    North America, United States, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, North-Central United States, Central United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes