Nature Walk: Compass Plant

By Taylor on July 29, 2013 in Blog


In his book, “A Sand County Almanac,” Aldo Leopold wrote about a single compass plant, or cut-leaf Silphium, in the corner of an old graveyard. At the time he believed it to be the sole surviving plant in the western half of his Wisconsin county. He went on to write, “What a thousand acres of Silphiums looked like when they tickled the bellies of the buffalo is a question never again to be answered, and perhaps not even asked.” Although we don't have a thousand acres of Silphiums with bison, compass plants are thriving by the thousands in restored prairie plantings. Perhaps in time we will get to see his vision.

When was the last time you enjoyed the beauty of a restored prairie? Have you seen the compass plants thriving as a result of conservation and restoration work?

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