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Silphium Asteriscus or

Silphium Asteriscus or

Silphium Asteriscus

Starry rosinweed will readily self-seed if left to its own devices. Collecting seeds is a simple matter of removing the dead head flowers once they are thoroughly dried on the plant. Store the seeds at room temperature and plant in late winter or early spring. Seeds are available through the Florida Wildflowers Growers Cooperative. Silphium asteriscus also propagates by rhizome, so root cuttings are a possibility. Only a few genera in the vast Composite or Sunflower Family produce flowering heads in which the disc flowers forming the eye produce no fruits, but the petal-like ray flowers do. Maybe the best known of those that do are the rosinweeds. In fact, our slope-living Composite turns out to be the Starry Rosinweed, SILPHIUM ASTERISCUS, a species occupying much of the eastern US, except for New England; with us the species appears at its southwesternmost point of distribution.

Silphium

via GIPHY

Classical literature sometimes refers to a famous Silphium plant producing a resin serving as a rich seasoning and a powerful medicine. That Silphium was a different plant, however, probably of the genus Ferula, maybe a "giant fennel." Stems of some of our rosinweed species of the genus Silphium also exude a bit a resin, which accounts for Linnaeus in 1753 naming the genus Silphium after the classic plant, but our Starry Silphium doesn't seem to produce resin. Starry Silphium is a 3' to 6' tall native perennial with native distribution primarily in the southeast.

This is a coarse plant with rough opposite leaves and large 3" wide bright yellow sunflower-like flowers. It prefers dry to medium moisture soils, full sun or partial shade, and sandy well-drained soils. This plant is drought and fire tolerant and is often used in xeriscape plantings, native plant gardens, wildflower meadows, and conservation seed mixes. Like other Silphium species, it produces a rosin, or gummy sap, that is sometimes used like chewing gum. It is a good pollinator plant.Silphium asteriscus (Starry Rosinweed) is a species of perennial herb in the family Asteraceae. They are native to Eastern North America and The Contiguous United States. Flowers are visited by Scolia nobilitata, Common Eastern Bumble Bee, American bumble bee, and Monarch. (Source: eol.org)

 

 

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