Seeing Yellow

Here at Prairie Moon, we are seeing yellow. Yellow is one of the most prevalent colors for summer blooming plants and across North America, the sequential blooming of many different species keeps the show going well into fall. Last week we talked about compass plant with its impressive stature and longevity but today we would like to introduce you to one of its smaller relatives. Meet rosin weed (Silphium integrifolium – http://bit.ly/WsG7Vb). Though not nearly as tall as its cousin, rosin weed is nonetheless a wonderful choice for a native garden, especially if you are concerned with drought. When it comes to tolerating dry soils, few plants are as hardy as rosin weed. WIth its deep taproot, this species will keep its composure while other plants whither. Unlike many composite flowers, which have fertile disk flowers and sterile ray flowers, rosin weed exhibits the exact opposite. It is the showy ray flowers that are fertile. Rosin weed attracts a variety of pollinators but it is especially relished by some of our smaller solitary bees. The plant gets its common name from the sticky rosin it produces, which was used as a chewing gum by the Native Americans. Rosin weed is quick to mature once germinated, reaching flowering size surprisingly quick.

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