1. Family: Rosaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Filipendula Mill.
      1. Filipendula rubra (Hill) B.L.Rob.

        A herbaceous perennial native to the United States, queen of the prairie is an attractive addition to bog gardens and streamside plantings. It has elegant, deeply cut foliage and dense clusters of small pink flowers held above, and has been given the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). The generic name Filipendula comes from the Latin for thread ( filum) and drooping ( pendulus) in reference to the root tubers of some species which hang together joined by fine fibres.

    [KSP]

    Kew Species Profiles

    General Description
    Queen of the prairie is an attractive bog garden perennial, with clusters of rose-pink flowers and fragrant leaves.

    A herbaceous perennial native to the United States, queen of the prairie is an attractive addition to bog gardens and streamside plantings. It has elegant, deeply cut foliage and dense clusters of small pink flowers held above, and has been given the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). The generic name Filipendula comes from the Latin for thread ( filum) and drooping ( pendulus) in reference to the root tubers of some species which hang together joined by fine fibres.

    Species Profile

    Geography and distribution

    Queen of the prairie is native from the Eastern to Central United States (from Pennsylvania to Georgia and west to Iowa and Missouri).

    Description

    An upright, clump-forming perennial growing up to 2.5 m tall and bearing kidney-shaped stipules. The leaves are bright green, fragrant and hairless, except on the undersides of the veins. The large terminal, three-lobed leaflet is up to 20 cm in diameter. The lower leaflets are three to five-lobed. The tiny, fragrant, deep to pale pink flowers are borne on branched, terminal flat-topped panicles (corymbs) in early to mid summer.

    The cultivar Filipendula rubra ‘Venusta’ grows up to 2 m tall and has deep rose-coloured flowers.

    Threats and conservation

    Filipendula rubra is considered endangered in Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and North Carolina, and considered threatened in Iowa and Michigan.

    Uses

    Native Americans used the root in traditional medicine for treating various heart problems and as a herbal aphrodisiac. The root has a high tannin content and was valued as an astringent and for treating skin rashes.

    Queen of the prairie is grown as an attractive, spreading ornamental in bog garden and waterside settings.

    Cultivation

    Filipendula rubra should be grown in moist, fertile, humus-rich soils that do not dry out in the summer. It thrives in boggy soils and is hardy to -15˚C. It can be propagated by division of clumps in autumn or winter, or by seed in autumn or spring (it also self-seeds freely).

    This species at Kew

    Filipendula rubra can be seen growing in the Bog Garden and alongside a stream to the west of the Japanese Garden at Wakehurst.

    Pressed and dried specimens of queen of the prairie are held in Kew’s Herbarium where they are available to researchers by appointment.

    Kew at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2011

    In 2011, Kew partnered with The Times to produce a show garden to showcase the significance of plants to science and society.

    The garden, designed by Chelsea gold medallist Marcus Barnett, featured species chosen to demonstrate both beauty and utility, including medicinal, commercial, and industrial uses to underline the fact that plants are invaluable to our everyday lives – without them, none of us could live on this planet; they produce our food, clothing and the air that we breathe.

    Fillipendula rubra was one of the species that featured in the garden, which was awarded a Silver Medal.

    Distribution
    USA
    Ecology
    Wet meadows and boggy areas; usually on calcium-rich soils.
    Conservation
    Not evaluated according to IUCN Red List criteria, but threatened in parts of its range.
    Hazards

    None known.

    [KSP]
    Use
    Ornamental, medicinal.

    Images

    Distribution

    Common Names

    English
    Queen of the prairie

    Filipendula rubra (Hill) B.L.Rob. appears in other Kew resources:

    First published in Rhodora 8: 204 (1906)

    Literature

    • [1] Mohlenbrock, R.H. (2014) Vascular Flora of Illinois. A Field Guide , ed. 4: 1-536. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale.
    • [2] Missouri Botanical Garden (2011). Filipendula rubra.
    • [3] United States Department of Agriculture (2011). Filipendula rubra.
    • [4] The Plant List, Version 1 (2010). Filipendula rubra.
    • [5] Foster, S. & Duke, J.A. (2000). A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants of Eastern and Central North America, 2nd Edition. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, Massachussetts. 162-163.
    • [6] Chadde, S.W. (1998). A Great Lakes Wetland Flora. Pocketflora Press, Michigan.
    • [7] Huxley, A. (ed.) (1997). The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening 2 (D-K). Macmillan, London.

    Sources

    International Plant Names Index
    The International Plant Names Index (2016). Published on the Internet http://www.ipni.org
    [A] © Copyright 2016 International Plant Names Index. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Species Profiles
    Kew Species Profiles
    [B] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
    [C]

    World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
    World Checklist of Selected Plant Families(2016). Published on the Internet http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    [D] See http://kew.org/about-kew/website-information/legal-notices/index.htm You may use data on these Terms and Conditions and on further condition that: The data is not used for commercial purposes; You may copy and retain data solely for scholarly, educational or research purposes; You may not publish our data, except for small extracts provided for illustrative purposes and duly acknowledged; You acknowledge the source of the data by the words "With the permission of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" in a position which is reasonably prominent in view of your use of the data; Any other use of data or any other content from this website may only be made with our prior written agreement. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
    [E] © Copyright 2016 International Plant Names Index and World Checkist of Selected Plant Families. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0