from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A tall, coarse composite plant, Silphium laciniatum, common upon the western prairies of North America.
- n. The Lactuca scariola, a European species of lettuce, similarly characterized.
- n. In California, Wyethia angustifolia and other species, coarse composites with sunflower-like heads, whose large erect leaves are said to stand with their edges north and south.
- n. The prairie bird's-foot trefoil, Lotus Americanus, of the western United States, the numerous distichous branches of which are polarized on the stem after the manner of the leaves of other compass-plants.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
For the children, there was compass-plant, with its wonderful chewing gum, and wild strawberries hidden in the grass.
"A compass-plant," said Triplett, "is ---," but for the third and last time, I anticipate.
Most of the time he was our helmsman, his eye cocked aloft at the taut halyards of _eva-eva_, occasionally glancing from the sun to the compass-plant which bloomed in a shell of fresh water lashed to an improvised binnacle.
We saw also the compass-plant, and the Western tea-plant.
Got my compass-plant nicely rooted in sand, see -- she's doin 'fine. "
"Hard to say," he answered, "accordin 'to compass-plant I'm steerin'