Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Queen-of-the-prairie - Filipendula rubra   (Hill) B.L. Robinson
Members of Rosaceae:
Only member of Filipendula in NC.
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Section 6 » Order Rosales » Family Rosaceae
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Author(Hill) B.L. Robinson
DistributionFound only in scattered sites in the mountains, in very limited habitats. Recorded only from 6 of the 17 mountain counties.

This is a Northern species, ranging from eastern Canada south to PA and MO, and south in the Appalachians to western NC. Oddly, there are no records yet for KY or TN.
AbundanceVery rare and threatened, considering that of the 18 records in the NCNHP database, barely 4-5 are known to still be in decent condition, a few others have not been checked recently (though considered extant), but the majority are historical. Very few sites are protected. This is indeed a State Endangered species.
HabitatThis is a species of sunny wetlands, mainly over mafic rock. NC records are generally in bogs and wet meadows. These habitats are becoming overgrown, or impacted by development, by beaver ponds, by man-made ponds, and by drainage for agriculture.
See also Habitat Account for Montane Wet Meadows
PhenologyBlooms in June and July, and fruits from July to September.
IdentificationThis is one of the state's more spectacular herbaceous plants -- if only it were more numerous and more easily visible to the public! It grows to about 4-5 feet tall, with scattered alternate leaves, which are very large and up to 6-8 inches long. The leaf blade is compound and interrupted along the rachis, with the terminal leaflet large and deeply divided into 4-5 lobes, like a Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) leaf. The lateral leaflets are much smaller, but still about 2 inches long, toothed and occasionally lobed. The flower clusters are at the summit of the stem, which is generally leafless for about a foot above the uppermost leaf. The numerous flowers are small and pink, but arranged in a wide-spreading panicle, about 4-5 inches across and tall. If in bloom, this distinctive plant can be spotted at a long distance owing to its height up to about 5 feet, but the leaves are distinctive by themselves.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS1
Global RankG4G5
State StatusE
US Status
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USACE-empFACW link
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