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prairie dropwort, queen-of-the-prairie

Habit Plants strongly rhizomatous, forming irregular patches, 12–25 dm.
Rhizomes

horizontal, thin, 2.5–3 mm wide, internodes 3–7 cm;

root tubers absent.

Stems

glabrous.

Leaves

basal 1 or 2, deciduous by flowering;

stipules ovate to elliptic, 1–1.5 cm, base auriculate;

lateral leaflets in 1–5 pairs, remote, ovate to elliptic, to 9 cm, palmately 2–3-lobed, lobes lanceolate, margins serrate or doubly serrate;

terminal leaflets round, 10–15 cm diam., palmately 7–9-lobed, lobes oblanceolate to lanceolate, margins doubly serrate, apex acute to acuminate, surfaces hairy at least on veins, hairs appressed, straight, short, 0.5 mm, or adaxial glabrous.

Inflorescences

100+-flowered;

branches and pedicels glabrous.

Flowers

hypanthium slightly concave;

sepals (4–)5(–6), purplish, spatulate to triangular, 1–3 mm, margins without midrib, abaxially glabrous, adaxially finely appressed-hairy or glabrous;

petals (4–)5(–6), pink to purple, orbiculate, 2.5–7 mm, claws distinct, short, base narrow, margins unevenly toothed;

stamens pink to purplish, about equal to or longer than petals.

Achenes

3–7, flattened, oblanceolate, straight, 8–14 mm, glabrous;

stipes 0.5–1.5 mm;

styles 1–2 mm.

Filipendula rubra

Phenology Flowering summer (Jun–Jul).
Habitat Moist meadows and bogs, roadsides, ditches, often persistent in abandoned gardens
Elevation 0–1000 m [0–3300 ft]
Discussion

Filipendula rubra is widely planted as an ornamental and is known only in cultivation or as an escape in the northern part of the listed range (eastern Canada, Maine, New York) as well as in West Virginia. The species is related to the east Asian F. angustiloba (Turczaninow) Maximowicz and F. palmata (Pallas) Maximowicz; it was used by Native Americans for heart troubles and love potions (D. E. Moerman 1998). The plant probably contains salicylic acid (natural precursor to aspirin), which has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. It has been used to treat gout, influenza, rheumatism, arthritis, fever, and kidney and bladder problems. The root is rich in tannins; it is used as an astringent in the treatment of, for example, diarrhea, dysentery, and bleeding (S. Foster and J. A. Duke 1990).

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Distribution
from FNA
CT; IA; IL; IN; MA; MD; ME; MI; MO; MS; NC; NH; NJ; NY; OH; PA; VA; VT; WI; WV; NB; NS; ON; QC
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Parent taxa Rosaceae > subfam. Rosoideae > tribe Ulmarieae > Filipendula
Sibling taxa
F. occidentalis, F. ulmaria, F. vulgaris
Synonyms Ulmaria rubra, F. lobata, Spiraea rubra, Thecanisia angustifolia, T. lobata, T. purpurea
Name authority (Hill) B. L. Robinson: Rhodora 8: 204. (1906)
Source Flora of North America vol. 9, p. 25.
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