Silflower (Silphium)

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Silflower is a relative of annual sunflower and is a native forb in the tallgrass prairie region of the U.S. Prior work by our collaborators at The Land Institute ( has demonstrated the potential of silphium as a new crop. Attractive features of the plant include relatively large seeds, a favorable nutritional profile as an oilseed, an upright plant architecture, and a robust root system. This root system can tap water and nitrogen deep in the soil, which enables these plants to tolerate drought and intercept leached fertilizer that would otherwise be wasted.

Silphium 2-page Summary