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Plant Profile

Large-flowered Barbara's-buttons (Marshallia grandiflora)

  • Global Rank: G3 - Vulnerable
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • State: KY, MD, NC, PA, TN, TVA, WV
  • Nature Serve ID: 128656
  • Lifeform: Forb/herb
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 02/10/1987

Giant Barbara's button is found along scoured riverbanks and in bogs in the Mid-Atlantic region. It produces frilly pink or lavender tubular flowers with blue anthers in June and July. (PDCNR 2002) This rare species is found in only 11 watersheds in the Appalachians and the Cumberland Plateau, and in jeopardy throughout its natural range. It is listed as endangered in the states of Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and threatened in West Virginia. All historically known populations in North Carolina and Maryland are now extinct due to the destruction of the bog where populations were known to exist. (PDCNR 2002) These plants require disturbance from periodic flooding to avoid crowding from shrubs and grasses. As a result, flood control and watershed alteration poses the largest threat to the survival of this species.

Where is Large-flowered Barbara's-buttons (Marshallia grandiflora) located in the wild?


Crevices of flood-scoured rock shelves and cobble/sand riverbanks and historically known to grow in bogs. (NatureServe 2001)


M. grandiflora is found in Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia. The largest populations are found in West Virginia. (NatureServe 2001)

States & Provinces:

Large-flowered Barbara's-buttons can be found in Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Tennessee Valley Authority, West Virginia

Which CPC Partners conserve Large-flowered Barbara's-buttons (Marshallia grandiflora)?

CPC's Plant Sponsorship Program provides long term stewardship of rare plants in our National Collection. We are so grateful for all our donors who have made the Plant Sponsorship Program so successful. We are in the process of acknowledging all our wonderful plant sponsorship donors on our website. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.

Conservation Actions

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Endemic to the Appalachians and the Cumberland Plateau. Many of the watershed-wide occurrences are composed of sites that are separated by 1.5 km or so of unsuitable habitat, and containing only a few individuals. Most of the watersheds have only 20 to several hundred individuals in total, although the largest populations (in West Virginia) have thousands of individuals per watershed. None of these are protected, however, and they are moderately threatened by flood control projects. Elsewhere, most sites are threatened by potential changes to the normal flooding regime and, to a lesser extent, by recreational impacts. All the historically known sites in North Carolina have been eliminated.

  • 01/01/2010

Flood Control Trampling Collection Any activity that could affect the Youghiogheny River system is a potential threat due to the large number of populations along this watershed.

  • 01/01/2010

There are 12 known populations along the Youghiogheny River in Pennsylvania and populations are also present in W. Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.

  • 01/01/2010

None known.

  • 01/01/2010

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy protected most of the populations in Pennsylvania in the 1950's. This land is now Ohiopyle State Park.

  • 01/01/2010

Survey to determine if there are any surviving populations in North Carolina. Verification of the plant's need for flooding.


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Taxon Marshallia grandiflora
Authority Beadle & F.E. Boynt.
Family Asteraceae
CPC Number 2805
ITIS 38066
Duration Perennial
Common Names giant Barbara's button | large-flowered Barbara's-buttons | large-flowered marshallia | Monongahela Barbara's-buttons
Associated Scientific Names Marshallia grandiflora
Distribution M. grandiflora is found in Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia. The largest populations are found in West Virginia. (NatureServe 2001)
State Rank
State State Rank
Kentucky S1
Maryland SR
North Carolina SH
Pennsylvania S1
Tennessee S2
Tennessee Valley Authority S
West Virginia S2
Ecological Relationships


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