Ptilimnium nodosum

Common Names:
Harperella, Piedmont bishop-weed
(Rose) Mathias
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
North Carolina Botanical Garden

The conservation of Ptilimnium nodosum is fully sponsored.


Harperella grows along rocky shoals of clear swift-flowing streams, and requires a very narrow range of hydrologic conditions in order to survive. The water depth can't be too high nor too low and the water quality must be good. This has made the species highly vulnerable to any seemingly minor or major changes in their habitat either in the immediate vicinity of their location, or upstream from there. Because of this, half of the known populations of this species have been destroyed. The ten remaining populations are scattered across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia where stream quality is still relatively high, and development and pollution is relatively low. (Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission 2002)

This delicate wildflower grows up to three feet tall and is a member of the economically important family of plants (Apiaceae) that includes such food products as carrots, dill, and horseradish, as well as several plants with known medicinal value. The tiny white clusters of this rare species resemble those of its common relative, Queen Anne's Lace. However, where most members of its family have fern-like (highly dissected) leaves, the leaves of this species are nothing but short, hollow "quills". (Maryland Department of Natural Resources 2002)

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research