Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

Like other Silphium spp., Rosinweed has a fragrant resin while in flower, which was chewed as gum by Amerindian children. It is less dramatic in appearance than some of its gigantic cousins, but matures more quickly and tolerates drought as well or better. Rosinweed resembles many Helianthus spp. (Sunflowers), but its disk florets are sterile and ray florets are fertile. The Sunflowers, on the other hand, have fertile disk florets and sterile ray florets. Rosinweed tends to produce flowers earlier than the Sunflowers, but sometimes their blooming periods overlap. While this plant can form sizable clumps, it doesn't spread as aggressively by means of underground rhizomes as many Sunflower species, nor is it known to be allelopathic. Return
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Description

This native perennial plant is 3-5' tall and unbranched, except near the inflorescence. The stout central stem is usually covered with stiff short hairs, but sometimes becomes glabrous with age. It is usually light green, but sometimes turns red in the presence of bright sunlight. The opposite leaves are up to 5" long and 2½" wide. They are broadly lanceolate to ovate, and have stiff small hairs on both the upper and lower sides, providing a sandpapery texture. The margins of these leaves are usually smooth, or they may have tiny teeth. As they ascend the stem, the opposite leaves rotate their direction by 90°. A panicle of composite yellow flowers appear at the top of the plant, resembling small sunflowers. Each flower is about 2–3" across, consisting of numerous disk florets surrounded by 12-25 ray florets. Only the ray florets are fertile. There is no noticeable floral scent. Often, there are side stems that bear smaller panicles of flowers. The blooming period occurs from mid-summer to fall, and lasts about 1-2 months. The seeds are large, flat, and lightweight – they can be carried several feet by the wind. The root system consists of a taproot and short rhizomes, which enable this plant to form clumps. Several varieties of this plant have been reported by various authorities, some of which may be natural hybrids with other Silphium spp.
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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Rosinweed occurs throughout most of Illinois, except for a few southern and western counties (see Distribution Map). It is a fairly common plant. Habitats include mesic to dry black soil prairies, gravel prairies, clay prairies, hill prairies, openings in rocky upland forests, limestone glades, and areas along railroads, particularly where prairie remnants occur. This plant can survive significant degradation, and recovers readily from occasional wildfires. It competes well against most prairie grasses and forbs in mesic to dry areas.
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Plants caulescent, 40–200 cm; fibrous rooted. Stems terete to slightly square, sparsely scabrous or glabrous (sometimes glaucous). Leaves: basal caducous; cauline opposite, sessile; blades lanceolate to ovate, 2–23 × 0.1–11 cm, bases round to caudate, margins finely serrate or entire, apices acute to acuminate, faces hispid, scabrous, or glabrous. Phyllaries 17–37 in 2–3 series, outer appressed, apices acute to acuminate, abaxial faces glabrous, hispid, pilose, or scabrous, sometimes stipitate-glandular. Ray florets 12–36; corollas yellow. Disc florets 70–225; corollas yellow. Cypselae 9–14 × 6–10 mm; pappi 1–4 mm.
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Rosinweed occurs throughout most of Illinois, except for a few southern and western counties (see Distribution Map). It is a fairly common plant. Habitats include mesic to dry black soil prairies, gravel prairies, clay prairies, hill prairies, openings in rocky upland forests, limestone glades, and areas along railroads, particularly where prairie remnants occur. This plant can survive significant degradation, and recovers readily from occasional wildfires. It competes well against most prairie grasses and forbs in mesic to dry areas.
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Associations

Faunal Associations

The pollen and nectar of the flowers attract long-tongued bees primarily, including honeybees, bumblebees, Little Carpenter bees, Epeoline Cuckoo bees, Miner bees, and large Leaf-Cutting bees. Insects rarely attack this plant, although the Silphium Beetle (Rhynchites sp.) may feed on the flowers and seeds, and the caterpillars of the rare Tabenna silphiella (Silphium Moth) eat the epidermis of the leaves. The larvae of a Gall Wasp (Antistrophus sp.) may feed within the stems, forming galls that are invisible from the outside. They attract the hyperparasitic wasp Eurytoma lutea, whose larvae feed on the larvae of the Gall Wasp. Some butterflies occasionally visit the flowers, including Sulfurs and Painted Ladies. Other visitors include short-tongued bees and various flies. The seeds are eaten occasionally by Goldfinches. Small herbivores, such as rabbits, are less likely to eat this plant because of its height and the coarseness of its leaves. However, some large herbivores, such as cattle, readily consume the foliage, stems, and flowers.
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Flower-Visiting Insects of Rosinweed in Illinois

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Silphium integrifolium

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 12
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is full sun and mesic to dry conditions. The soil can contain loam, clay-loam, or some gravel. Rosinweed is rarely bothered by disease and is easy to grow. It matures more quickly than many other members of the genus, such as Silphium terebinthinaceum (Prairie Dock) and Silphium laciniatum (Compass Plant). Another nice feature of this plant is that it rarely flops over in the flower garden, if the location isn't on a steep slope.
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Wikipedia

Silphium integrifolium

Silphium integrifolium is a species of flowering plant in the aster family, Asteraceae. Its common names include whole-leaf rosinweed, entire-leaf rosinweed, and prairie rosinweed.[1] It is native to eastern North America, including Ontario in Canada and the eastern and central United States as far west as New Mexico.[2]

Description[edit]

This species is a perennial herb growing from a fibrous root system and producing stems up to 2 meters tall.[3] It can form a large clump of up to 100 stems.[4] The stems are hairless to slightly rough-haired, and sometimes waxy in texture. The leaves are oppositely arranged on the stems. The basal leaves are lost by maturity. The leaf blades are lance-shaped to ovate, smooth-edged or toothed, hairless to rough-haired, and up to about 23 centimeters long.[3] The inflorescence holds one to 15 flower heads.[4] The head is lined with 2 or 3 rows of phyllaries which are hairless or rough and sometimes glandular. The head has up to 36 yellow ray florets and many yellow disc florets. The fruit has a short pappus.[3]

There are two varieties of the species:[3]

  • S. integifolium var. integrifolium – 40 centimeters to 2 meters in height
  • S. integifolium var. laeve – generally 1 to 1.5 meters tall, with more florets and hairless leaves

Ecology[edit]

The foliage of the plant is eaten by herbivores such as the white-tailed deer and the blister beetle Epicauta fabricius. Plants have also been noted to lose approximately 17% of their fruits to lepidopteran larvae. The most common herbivorous insect on this species is the gall wasp Antistrophus silphii. The wasp injects its eggs into the apical meristem of the plant, and as its larvae develop, a spherical gall up to 4 centimeters wide forms in the meristem. This stops the shoot from growing. Up to 30 larvae overwinter in each gall, pupate, and emerge as adult wasps the following season.[4]

Uses[edit]

The plant had uses among Native American peoples. The Meskwaki, for example, used the roots to treat pain from injuries.[5]

This species is cultivated for use in gardens.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Silphium integrifolium. NatureServe. 2012.
  2. ^ Silphium integrifolium. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).
  3. ^ a b c d Silphium integrifolium. Flora of North America.
  4. ^ a b c Fay, P. and D. C. Hartnett. (1991). Constraints on growth and allocation patterns of Silphium integrifolium (Asteraceae) caused by a cynipid gall wasp. Oecologia 88(2), 243-50.
  5. ^ Silphium integrifolium. Native American Ethnobotany. University of Michigan, Dearborn.
  6. ^ Silphium integrifolium. Missouri Botanical Garden.
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