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Nature’s Chewing Gum July 29, 2010

Posted by Wapello Warbler in Edible Plants, Louisa County, pictures, Wild Flowers.
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Compass Plant

I had read about Compass Plants and about how their large leaves generally pointed north and south. I finally found one near the golf course in late July and I’m happy to have gotten such a good picture of it.

Compass Plants grow from three to twelve feet high depending on the soil. This particular plant was about six feet tall, which made the decision to back light the flower with bright sunshine very easy.

The leaves are 12 to 18 inches long and deeply divided. This picture didn’t turn out as well, but you can pick up the shape.

Beside being useful for finding your way in late summer, the hardened sap can replace your chewing gum.

The Compass Plant (Silphium laciniatum) is one of several tall sunflowers native to Iowa’s prairies. It is a member of the Aster family.

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