Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
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  • Prairie Dock

    SCIENTIFIC NAME: Silphium terebinthinaceum

    COMMON NAME: Prairie-dock, Prairie Rosinweed

    BLOOM TIME: July, Aug, Sept


    • 3-10’tall, wand-like plant with deep 12’ roots.
    • Clustered leaves at bottom are 16” long in a spade shape, and have a sandpaper texture.
    • Flower heads 2-3”with 12-20 yellow aster-like petals.
    • Leaves will feel cool to the touch on hot summer days' because its roots pull water from deep in the soil..
    • Common to Illinois and prairies in particular.
    • Native Americans used for root tea for weakness, intestinal worms, coughs and asthma.


    • Long tongued bees are the primary pollinator.
    • Its seeds are eaten and spread by goldfinches.
    • Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds will also visit the flowers for nectar.