Native to North America
A tall sturdy coarse plant with bristles on the resounous stems up to 9 feet tall. Produced sunflower-like flowers up to 5" across with yellow rays and yellow center disks. Flowers bloom in loose spikes on the upper parts of the plant in summer. Leaves are large, up to 18 inches, and are deeply pinnatifid, reminiscent of pin oak leaves. Upper leaves are smaller. Basal leaves usually orient themselves on a north-south axis so as to minimize intense overhead sun exposure, thus the name compass plant. Split or broken stems exude a gummy, fragrant-but-bitter resin which was used by Native Americans as a mouth-cleansing chewing gum. Many of the silphiums are commonly called rosinweed for this reason.