Have you heard of this ?

This topic covers general and specific questions and requests about the wild flora of malta.

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ROLCAM
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Have you heard of this ?

Post by ROLCAM » Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:37 am

How did the compass plant get its name?

During midsummer, the radical leaves of the compass plant invariably point precisely north and south.

My question :-

Does this plant grow in MALTA ?

Have we got a Maltese Name for it ?

Where does one find it?


Thank you.
Roland Camilleri B.Ec. FCPA.

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Post by MWP admin » Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:00 pm

You have vast information about this plant provided by my website maltawildplants.com. All your answers (and much more) are answered in the extensive profile.


The direct link is www.maltawildplants.com/ASTR/Lactuca_serriola.php

Enjoy!

PS:
I have noted that the plant do not always point to north - south direction and I have made my hypothesis about this.

The plant leaves have the ability to change their orientation and this is somehow related to the the East-West trailing sun not to magnetsim. If the plant needs to control evaporation, some leaves are oriented to point North or South hence the least direct sunlight they receive. If water is no problem, they would assume no particular orientation. Just my observation
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ROLCAM
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 8:35 am
Location: SYDNEY , AUSTRALIA

COMPASS PLANT ??

Post by ROLCAM » Fri Nov 23, 2007 7:17 am

I have not been able to find more about this plant ,
despite the extensive site you gave me:-

www.maltawildplants.com/ASTR/Lactuca_serriola.php

1) I am not aware of the botanic name.

2) The English list does not include it ??

3) This is really what I want to know , what is the MALTESE name?

I have just received this additional information from a friend od mine in SPAIN !!

Silphium laciniatum (Compass Flower, Compass Plant or Rosinweed) is a species of flowering plant in the genus Silphium. It is native to east-central North America, from southern Ontario and New York south to Alabama and west across the prairies to North Dakota and Colorado south to Texas.

It is a perennial herbaceous plant similar in appearance to a sunflower, growing to 1-4 m tall, with bristly-hairy stems. The leaves are alternately arranged, and deeply pinnately lobed; the basal leaves up to 40 cm long, becoming smaller higher up the stem. The flowers are produced in flowerheads (capitula) 5-12 cm diameter, with a ring of ray florets surrounding the 2-3 cm diameter center of disc florets. Flowering is in late summer, typically from July to September.

Compass plants are so named because they tend to align their foliage north and south to present the minimum surface area to the hot noon sunshine. The taproot of the compass plant may grow to more than 9-14 ft. deep, making it hardy and resistant to drought.

The plant was used in Native American herbal medicine as a vermifuge, and to treat coughs and asthma

This new article contains information that could be useful
to improve your extensive site.
Roland Camilleri B.Ec. FCPA.

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Lactuca

Post by MWP admin » Fri Nov 23, 2007 8:14 am

Dear RolCam,

Lactuca serriola is also known as the Compass Plant, and the info you asked me should be easily found on the link I gave you. Below you find an extract from the webpage where there is the English and MALTESE name of the plant, apart other nomenclature info.

We do not seem to have Silphium spp. in Malta so it is interesting to know how a Spanish have given you a Maltese name for a plant not existant in Malta :P (maybe its known here as another synoym)

Nevertheless I vow to your sharing of info and time taken to write the post. Thank you very much and keep it up.
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Post by MWP admin » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:24 pm

OK Rolcam, got it mate? :P
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