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.
What plant word links the new poet laureate, the dollar bill, and a nymph?
The nation has new a poet laureate, W.S. Merwin, who has written more than 30 books of poetry, translation, and prose over the past 60 years. Despite what Merwin’s title says, don’t expect him to parade around the Library of Congress with a leaf wreath on his head. The word “laureate” is derived from Latin, meaning “crowned with laurel.”Also known as the sweet bay, or just …
Here’s the odd, sad truth about mistletoe. Plus, is the kissing custom a mystery?
If you celebrate Christmas, it’s likely that at some point this season you’ll find yourself puckering up under a mistletoe branch. What is the tradition of kissing under a plant all about? And does the name have anything to do with human toes? Mistletoe is a European plant that grows parasitically on trees. The etymology of the word is uncertain. Because mistletoe can be spread through birds’ feces, …
Origin of compass plant
First recorded in 1840–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for compass plant
Historical Examples of compass plant
Look for the compass-plant, if you have the command of prairies.
The compass-plant, or rosin-weed, as it is commonly called, is the Silphium laciniatum of the botanists.The Ranche on the Oxhide
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