Skip Navigation

Illinois Native Plant Guide - Prairie Dock - Pages 140-141

Illinois Native Plant Guide

Prairie Dock
Silphium terebinthinaceum

Preferred Water Depth and Inundation Tolerance

Wet prairie or sedge meadow species. Species tolerates 0-6 inches of inundation for short durations early in the season.

Wildlife Value

Palatable to grazing species. Attracts butterflies and other insects.


Used for upland slope buffer stabilization.

Availability, Establishment, and Maintenance

  • Easily propagated from seed.
  • To produce bare root transplants, sow seed 1/2 inch deep in late summer. Late planting is necessary because of rapid growth of taproot and will produce transplant stock in the fall or early the following spring.
  • On permanent sites, use transplants in the fall or early spring, or sow unstratified seed in the fall or stratified seed in the spring.
  • Requires light for germination.

Prairie Dock
Silphium terebinthinaceum

Mature Height
Up to 10 feetPrairie Dock

Plant Type
Perennial herb

Indicator Status
Facultative (-)


Nutrient Load Tolerance
Low to moderate

Salt Tolerance

Siltation Tolerance
Low to moderate

Flowering Color and Time
July to September

Light Preference
Full sun

Seeding Rate
.03 - .19 lbs/acre

The following document requires Adobe Acrobat Reader
npg_p140-141.pdf [PDF]