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Filipendula rubra (Queen of the prairie)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Filipendula rubra

Filipendula rubra (Hill) B.L. Rob.

Queen Of The Prairie, Queen-of-the-prairie

Rosaceae (Rose Family)


USDA Symbol: FIRU2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (I)

A robust perennial, usually growing 3-6 ft. high. Attractive, deeply cut leaves with 7-9 lobes can be 3 ft. long. Large, feathery clusters of small, fragrant, usually pink flowers. The large sprays of small pink, fragrant blossoms are its claim to fame. Numerous stamens give the spirea-like flowers a fuzzy appearance.

A showy species, this coarse-leaved perennial flourishes in wildflower gardens. Meadow Queen (F. ulmaria), a shorter European introduction with white or greenish-white flowers, is also found in the East.


From the Image Gallery

6 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Achene , Aggregate
Size Notes: Up to about 8 feet tall, often shorter.
Fruit: Aggregated achenes.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Usually pink, sometimes purplish.


USA: CT , GA , IA , IL , IN , MA , MD , ME , MI , MO , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , VA , VT , WI , WV , WY
Canada: NB , NL , NS , ON , QC
Native Distribution: PA to MI, s. to w. NC & IL; occasionally naturalizing elsewhere
Native Habitat: Moist meadows & prairies; bogs

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Moist, rich soils.
Conditions Comments: Native to moist soils but will do well in average or dry soils.


Attracts: Butterflies


Description: Best propagated by rootstock division in early spring or fall. To propagate from seed, scratch cleaned seed into the soil in fall or store over winter, stratify and plant in spring. Stem cuttings can be made in mid-spring before the flowers appear.
Seed Collection: Collect in late summer or early fall when tops of plants turn gray, usually 4-6 weeks after blooming. Since the fruits do no dehisce, the achene itself can be treated as a seed for cleaning, storing and sowing. Store in sealed, refrigerated container.
Seed Treatment: Cold-moist stratification (40 degrees for two months)
Commercially Avail: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Native flowers for Door County, Wisconsin
September 02, 2009
We recently were required to put in a new septic system on our vacation property in Door County, WI. This left us with a clearing on our wooded lot where the septic field is now located. The installer...
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1994 VOL. 11, NO.4 - Night of the Wildflowers Fundraising Event, New Site Preview Featured at Members...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Filipendula rubra in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Filipendula rubra in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Filipendula rubra


Record Modified: 2023-02-10
Research By: TWC Staff

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