Marshallia caespitosa

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: Barbara's buttons 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Southerncentral United States
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to June
Bloom Description: White to pink-tinged
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist soils in part shade.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Marshallia caespitosa, commonly called Barbara's buttons, is a clump-forming Missouri native perennial which occurs in limestone glades and unglaciated prairie in several counties in the southwestern part of the State. The dense flower heads of this aster (composite) family member are discoid (only disk flowers with no ray flowers). The numerous, tiny, white to pink-tinged disk florets are compacted into solitary, terminal, pincushion-like, dome-shaped flower heads (to 1" diameter) atop long, rigid, slender stems (peduncles) rising to 16" tall. Flowers somewhat resemble some of the cornflowers (Centaurea). Flowers bloom in spring. Narrow linear-lanceolate leaves (to 4" long) mostly appear in basal rosettes, with sparse stem leaves being much smaller.

Genus name honors Humphry Marshall (1722-1801) and his nephew Moses Marshall (1758-1813), American botanists.

Specific epithet means growing in dense clumps.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Limestone rock gardens, border fronts and wildflower/native plant gardens.