“Biological diversity is the key to the maintenance of the world as we know it.”
~ E.O. Wilson, Biodiversity
Very large basal leaves sometimes over 1 foot long; margin is entire in early leaf stages changing to deeply lobed margins as the plant matures; leaf surface covered with dense, short hairs
5 to 9 feet
Tall and showy, each flower head is 2 1/2 to 5 inches in diameter with 20 to 30 petal-like yellow ray flowers surrounding a yellow disk. Flowering heads range in number from a few to as many as 20 over the blooming period.
Found on prairies and along roadsides throughout the Ozarks and prairie regions of Missouri, it often forms large colonies in roadside ditches. Compass plant is occasionally used in general seed mixes, and is a must for true prairie restoration mixes, but will take several years to bloom from seed. Leaves orientate north and south to maximize exposure to sunlight and to minimize water loss during the hottest part of the day. Large seeds are a good food source for upland wildlife.