Species Factsheets

Trollius laxus

Spreading Globeflower

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

Global Rank: G5T3 rank interpretation
State Rank: S1

Trollius laxus


Spreading globeflower (Trollius laxus) is a showy plant with palmately cut, lobed leaves, 7.5-12cm wide. Large terminal flowers, up to 4cm in diameter, are yellow or cream-colored. The petals are tiny, but the five to seven large sepals are brightly colored. The plant grows from 12-50cm tall.

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.


Spreading globe flower grows in rich swamps, wet meadows and wet woods

Survey Dates

Flowers late May - June


In Pennsylvania, its range is limited to the glaciated sections, where wetland habitats are calcareous (alkaline).



Eight of fifteen historically documented spreading globeflower sites have been destroyed because the wetlands where they existed were drained or filled for agriculture and housing development.


Spreading globeflower is a candidate for listing under the Federal Endangered Species Act. One site has been acquired by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy is trying to protect four sites in eastern Pennsylvania. A coal mine was modified to prevent disruption of the hydrology at a western Pennsylvania location. Surveys for this and other wetland plant species of special concern continue to be concentrated in the glaciated sections of the state.

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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