Monongahela Barbara’s-Buttons

Marshallia grandiflora, Ohiopyle (photo by Dianne Machesney)

Large-flowered marshallia (Marshallia grandiflora) grows in bogs and along river banks in Appalachia where it earned the common name Monongahela Barbara’s-buttons.  It’s so rare that it’s endangered or threatened throughout its range and no longer grows in Maryland.

In southwestern Pennsylvania it’s found on the flood-scoured rocky banks of the Youghiogeny River where it relies on the floods to remove other species that would crowd it out.  In fact, the biggest threat to Barbara’s-buttons is flood control.  When the river quits flooding this plant can’t survive.

As you can see it has beautiful flowers.  What you can’t tell from the photos is that the plant is 10 to 36 inches tall.  From a distance the flower stands on a stalk above the leaves.

Up close the flower is intricate.

Marshallia grandiflora, Ohiopyle (photo by Dianne Machesney)


Botanists and plant lovers seek out Large-flowered Marshallia when it blooms in June.

We’re fortunate that the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy saved its habitat at Ohiopyle.


(photo by Dianne Machesney)

2 thoughts on “Monongahela Barbara’s-Buttons

  1. Were these photos from the Ohiopyle stand? Way back in my memory bank I seem to
    remember a sighting in Mercer Co.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.