Herb: Prairie Dock

Latin name: Silphium terebinthinaceum

Family: Compositae

Medicinal use of Prairie Dock:

A tea made from the roots is vermifuge and a tonic for general debility. A tea made from the leaves is emetic, it has been used in the treatment of coughs, lung ailments and asthma. A resin in the plant is diuretic.

Description of the plant:


150 cm
(5 feet)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Prairies, dry woods and glades.

Other uses of Prairie Dock:

A gum or resin that is obtained from the stem can be chewed to cleanse the mouth and teeth.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. This is very difficult due to the deep and extensive root system.

Cultivation of Prairie Dock:

Prairies, dry woods and glades.

Known hazards of Silphium terebinthinaceum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.