Filipendula rubra

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: queen of the prairie 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Eastern United States
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Pale pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Fragrant
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil


Easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers consistently moist, fertile, humusy soils. Intolerant of drought. Appreciates part shade in hot climates. Foliage may scorch in full sun if soils are allowed to dry out. Propagate by dividing clumps in spring. Freely self-seeds and can form large colonies in optimum growing conditions. Flower panicles are best left in place after bloom since deadheading does not extend bloom period. With sufficient moisture, foliage may remain attractive throughout the growing season. If foliage depreciates in summer, cut back hard to promote new growth.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Filipendula rubra, commonly called queen of the prairie, is a U.S. native perennial which ranges from Pennsylvania to Georgia and west to Iowa and Missouri. In Missouri, it is only found in several swampy, calcareous meadows in Reynolds County (Steyermark). It is a very tall, upright, clump-forming perennial that typically grows 6-8' tall and features branched, terminal, astilbe-like, 6-9" wide panicles (corymbs) of tiny, fragrant, pale pink flowers in early to mid summer. Deeply cut, compound-pinnate, bright green leaves have 7-9 lance-shaped leaflets each, with an unusually large, 7-9 lobed, terminal leaflet (4-8" long). Leaves are fragrant. A good foliage plant that is valued for both its leaves and its flowers.

Genus name comes from the Latin words filum meaning a thread and pendulus meaning hanging for the root tubers in some species that hang together with threads.

Specific epithet means red.


No serious insect or disease problems. Though quite tall, this sturdy plant usually does not need staking.


This is a large plant for large gardens. Can be spectacular, particularly when massed. Borders (rear), cottage gardens, native plant gardens, wild/naturalized areas, wet meadows or moist areas along streams or ponds.