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compass plant

any of various plants having leaves that tend to lie in a plane at right angles to the strongest light, hence usually north and south, especially Silphium laciniatum.
Origin of compass plant
First recorded in 1840-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for compass plant
Historical Examples
  • To Reynolds Phebe was as a compass plant by which he learned to measure right and wrong, but, best of all, she pointed him to God.

    The Little Missis Charlotte Skinner
British Dictionary definitions for compass plant

compass plant

Also called rosinweed. a tall plant, Silphium laciniatum, of central North America, that has yellow flowers and lower leaves that tend to align themselves at right angles to the strongest light, esp in a north-south plane: family Asteraceae (composites)
any of several similar plants
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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