compass plant

noun

: a yellow-flowered composite plant (Silphium laciniatum) that has large pinnatifid leaves in which the leaf edges typically align in a northerly and southerly direction and that occurs especially in prairies and along roadsides of the central U.S.

Examples of compass plant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Dozens of monarch butterflies descended on the prairie at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Tuesday, feasting on the nectar of purple ironweed flowers and golden compass plant blossoms. Nara Schoenberg, Chicago Tribune, 9 Sep. 2022 But here at Lapham Peak, yellow prairie dock and compass plant shoot into the sky, leaning toward the bright late-summer sun like miniature sunflowers. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 19 Aug. 2021 There’s also wild quinine and compass plant with leaves that align north to south. Susan Degrane, chicagotribune.com, 13 Apr. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'compass plant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1848, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of compass plant was in 1848

Dictionary Entries Near compass plant

Cite this Entry

“Compass plant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compass%20plant. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

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