compass plant

  1. 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

Words Nearby compass plant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use compass plant in a sentence

  • I never seen but one good compass plant, an' that was the prairie Golden Rod.

    Two Little Savages | Ernest Thompson Seton
  • 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
  • The compass-plant, or rosin-weed, as it is commonly called, is the Silphium laciniatum of the botanists.

  • Look for the compass-plant, if you have the command of prairies.

British Dictionary definitions for compass plant

compass plant

  1. 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)

  2. 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