CPC Plant Profile: Awned Meadowbeauty
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Plant Profile

Awned Meadowbeauty (Rhexia aristosa)

This shot shows a Maryland meadowbeauty plant in flower. Photo Credit: North Carolina Natural Heritage Program
  • Global Rank: N/A
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Melastomataceae
  • State: AL, DE, GA, NC, NJ, SC
  • Nature Serve ID: 132402
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 03/08/1989

Rhexia aristosa is an erect, herbaceous perennial that grows to 1 meter tall. It has opposite, linear, lanceolate leaves and large purple flowers that are arranged in a cyme. The Awned meadowbeauty is found in a variety of wet habitats in the Coastal Plain from New Jersey to Alabama. More and more of these wet areas are being drained to make them suitable for activities such as agriculture, pine production, and commercial and residential development. This disruption of natural hydrologic processes has a negative impact on the survival of Rhexia aristosa populations. Compounded with the continuing effects of these activitieserosion, sedimentation, increased nutrient input, and herbicide and pesticide runoffit is clear that this species requires careful monitoring and protection.

Participating Institutions
Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Rhexia aristosa is known from relatively few element occurrences throughout a disjunct range; few but some of the very best occurrences are protected. It is vulnerable to habitat alteration and destruction. Very few sites have very large numbers of individuals (>50,000).

  • 01/01/2010

Wetland (habitat) modification Silvicultural practices Fire suppression (NatureServe 2001)

  • 01/01/2010

Very few occurrences left and very few protected. Recent populations found in Fort Bragg Army Base and Camp Lejeune Marine Base (TNC 1993)

  • 01/01/2010

Bernadette Plair (Center for Research of Endangered Wildlife, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden) has conducted work on the micropropagation of Rhexia aristosa to increase numbers for research and possible reintroduction as part of an IMLS-funded research on a technique for long-term germplasm storage of shoot-tips.

  • 01/01/2010

Presently no management plan exists for Rhexia aristosa (NatureServe 2001).

  • 01/01/2010

Protection of habitat and natural hydrologic processes Surveys to determine abundance and occurrence Pollination research

  • 01/01/2010

Seed collection from populations not currently represented in collection (only 4 populations represented in collection at NCBG)


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Taxon Rhexia aristosa
Authority Britt.
Family Melastomataceae
CPC Number 3728
ITIS 27688
Common Names awned meadowbeauty
Associated Scientific Names Rhexia aristosa
Distribution Disjunct from NJ to AL, strictly in Coastal Plain. (AK, DE, GA, NC, NJ, SC)
State Rank
State State Rank
Alabama S1
Delaware S1
Georgia S2
North Carolina S3
New Jersey S1
South Carolina S3

Found in wetlands, wet savannahs, pond beds, flooded bays, cypress bays, pond-cypress savannas, wet pinelands ditches, grass-sedge dominated Carolina bays, vernal ponds, depression meadows, or limesink ponds (dolines).

Ecological Relationships

Research indicates that fluctuations in the water table are required for germination (Thornhurst 1995) Periodic fire is necessary to reduce competition from woody species (NatureServe 2001)

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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