Compass Plant (Silphilium Laciniatum) is a wild flower native to the prairies of the midwestern US. It also grows in parts of northeast to central US and southeastern Canada. It derives its name from the fact that its leaves align themselves north-south to avoid over-exposure to the parching sun. Despite the abnormally hot, dry conditions that we have been experiencing in Kansas* – the driest in over 50 years, when I photographed them a few days ago these Compass Plants gave all appearances of thriving on the Konza Prairie. I find them to be a fascinating combination of beauty and ruggedness.
*Our official high yesterday was 107 degrees F., though the thermometer in our yard registered a high of 113.2 degrees F. at 4:20 pm. A thunderstorm last night brought only 0.07 inches of rain.