Compass Plants can live up to 100 years. The roots can grow 9-14 feet deep. An elderly gentleman name Roland Bernau owned a 100 acre native prairie near West Bend, Iowa. He has since passed away. Almost 100 years old himself, he left me with some of his experiences in his remote past. One comment to me was that he used to harvest hay from the native prairie and some of it was sold to the Chicago market. Hay that contained Compass Plant always secured a higher price as its food value for cattle was considered to be the best. Roland called the plant "Gumweed" and he said that he used to chew the resin produced by the plant because it was nature's chewing gum.