Species Factsheets

Marshallia grandiflora

Barbara's Buttons

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State Status: Pennsylvania Endangered (PE)
PBS Status: Pennsylvania Endangered (PE)
Federal Status:

Global Rank: G3 rank interpretation
State Rank: S1

Did You Know?

The flowerheards of this species are made up of densely packed and rosey pink tubularflowers that have purple stamens.

Marshallia grandiflora


Barbara's buttons (Marshallia grandiflora) is a 20-90cm perennial herb growing singly or in clusters from a low caudex, or woody base.

Rank Justification

Critically imperiled in the nation or state because of extreme rarity (often 5 or fewer occurrences) or because of some factor(s) such as very steep declines making it especially vulnerable to extirpation from the state.


Barbara's buttons grows in wet forests or meadows and on stream banks throughout central Appalachia – from Pennsylvania south to Tennessee. Historically, it also grew in North Carolina, but it seems to have been extirpated from that state; it is expected to occur in Maryland, but no populations have been documented. It tolerates partial shade, but flowers best in direct sunlight, and is most commonly found in habitat that has been scoured by flooding.

Survey Dates

Flower June - August




Barbara's buttons is known to occur in only eleven watersheds within its range, and many of these watershed-wide occurrences are really collections of several very small, widely scattered populations. A few watersheds in West Virginia have populations totaling in the thousands, but these are threatened by flood control projects.

Conservation Status Map


Map Legend

NatureServe. 2017. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available https://explorer.natureserve.org.


  • NatureServe. 2018. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available at https://www.natureserve.org/explorer
  • Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. 2018.
  • Rhoads, A.F. and W.M. Klein, Jr. 1993. The Vascular Flora of Pennsylvania. American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rhoads, A.F. and T.A. Block.
  • 2007. The Plants of Pennsylvania: An Illustrated Manual. 2nd edition. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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