Rhexia petiolata

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Common name: ciliate meadow-beauty [1], short-stemmed meadow-beauty [1], fringed meadowbeauty [2]

Rhexia petiolata
Rhexia petiolata SEF.jpg
Photo by John Gwaltney hosted at Southeastern Flora.com
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicots
Order: Myrtales
Family: Melastomataceae
Genus: Rhexia
Species: R. petiolata
Binomial name
Rhexia petiolatas
Natural range of Rhexia petiolata from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonyms: R. ciliosa Michaux

Varieties: none


R. petiolata is a perennial forb/herb of the Melastomataceae family native to North America.[2]


R. petiolata is found along the southeastern coast of the United States from Texas to Maryland.[2]



R. petiolata proliferates in wet pine flatwoods and savannas, pocosin borders, cypress ponds and swamps, slope bogs, marshes, longleaf pine forests, and ditches.[1][3] It is also found in disturbed areas including powerline corridors and burned slash pine woods.[3]

Associated species: Rhynchospora, R. nuttallii, Kalmia hirsuta, Ludwigia, Polygala, and Xyris.[3]

R. petiolata increased its presence in response to soil disturbance by heavy silvilculture in North Carolina longleaf pine sites. It has shown regrowth in reestablished longleaf habitat that was disturbed by these practices.[4] It does not respond to soil disturbance by clearcutting and chopping in north Florida flatwoods forests.[5]

Rhexia petiolata is an indicator species for the Panhandle Seepage Savannas community type as described in Carr et al. (2010).[6]


R. petiolata has been observed to flower June through October.[7]

Fire ecology

Populations of Rhexia petiolata have been known to persist through repeated annual burning.[8]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

It is possible the greens and tubers can be used in salads for a sweetish, nutty taste.[9]

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Weakley, A. S. (2015). Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina Herbarium.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 USDA Plant Database https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=RHPE
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Florida State University Herbarium Database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: June 2021. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson and R. Kral. States and counties: Florida: Bay, Clay, Franklin, Lee, Levy, and Osceola. Georgia: Thomas.
  4. Cohen, S., R. Braham, and F. Sanchez. (2004). Seed Bank Viability in Disturbed Longleaf Pine Sites. Restoration Ecology 12(4):503-515.
  5. Moore, W.H., B.F. Swindel, and W.S. Terry. (1982). Vegetative Response to Clearcutting and Chopping in a North Florida Flatwoods Forest. Journal of Range Management 35(2):214-218.
  6. Carr, S.C., K.M. Robertson, and R.K. Peet. 2010. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75:153-189.
  7. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. www.gilnelson.com/PanFlora/ Accessed: 29 MAY 2018
  8. Platt, W.J., R. Carter, G. Nelson, W. Baker, S. Hermann, J. Kane, L. Anderson, M. Smith, K. Robertson. 2021. Unpublished species list of Wade Tract old-growth longleaf pine savanna, Thomasville, Georgia.
  9. Fernald, et al. 1958. Edible Plants of Eastern North America. Harper and Row Publishers, New York.