Prairie Dock – A Tall, Resilient Pollinator for CRP

Silphium terebinthinaceum, more commonly known as prairie dock, is a flowering plant that can be found in most of Illinois, along with select areas of Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Some refer to it as prairie rosinweed, a name derived from the sweet-smelling resin it produces when cut. When fully grown, prairie dock can reach heights of 10 feet. Small, yellow flowers bloom at the tips of its stems, while large leaves surround its base. 

In addition to providing food and nesting for pollinators, prairie dock has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes. Teas made from prairie dock root have been used to relieve internal bleeding, liver issues, fever, and enlarged spleens. Native Americans would also use it as an emeticSmoke from the plant has been used to treat pain, congestion, and rheumatism as well 

This is generally not recommended in modern times, however, as prairie dock may be toxic to humans. 

Utilizing Prairie Dock for CRP Pollinator Habitat 

Though prairie dock might not be ideal for modern medicine, it can be a great addition to CRP pollinator mixes in select regions. Prairie dock is known to attract a variety of pollinators. Bumblebees, honeybees, and certain birds are all attracted to its vibrant yellow pedals. Additionally, some bees nest within or under the plant.  

Prairie dock is adept at keeping cool during the day, and its roots grow as deep as 14 feet. This make it highly resilient, especially against drought. Prairie dock tends to bloom a little later than other species in its family, with its bloom period running from July to September. This can make it an effective addition to the right pollinator mix. 

If you’re looking to purchase high-quality pollinator seed mix for CRP, All Native Seed makes it simple. We offer a variety of NRCS-approved mixes that have been proven across 350,000 acres of CRP establishment. Additionally, we can easily put together a quote for a seed plan developed by NRCS here. Whichever option you choose, you can trust you’re getting the purest CRP seed available. All purchases come with the necessary seed tags and paperwork required for cost-share reimbursement.  

For any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us directly.