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Virginia Meadow-beauty (Rhexia virginica)
Virginia Meadow-beauty (Rhexia virginica), a State Special Concern plant, is found in wet, acid ditches, as well as in ponds and lakes with fluctuating water levels in the bed of Glacial Lake Wisconsin. Blooming occurs early July through late August; fruiting occurs late July through early September. The optimal identification period for this species is late June through late September.
Synonyms: Rhexia purshii, Rhexia septemnervia, Rhexia stricta, Rhexia virginica var. purshii, Rhexia virginica var. septemnervia Rhexia virginica var. virginica
- Distinguishing characteristics: Angles of the stem obviously (although narrowly) winged.
- Flower characteristics: Terminal cymes appearing in late summer. Petals rose-lavender, 15 to 20 mm, often bristly on the back. Contrasting bright yellow stamens. Sepals narrow, acute or gradually tapering to a sharp point, the margins concave at the tip. Anthers 5 to 7 mm.
- Fruit characteristics: Capsule; seeds coiled.
- Leaf characteristics: Opposite, ovate to lance-ovate, 2 to 7 cm, usually a third to half as wide, sometimes bristly on one or both sides.
- Blooming phenology: early July through late August
- Fruiting phenology: late July through early September
- Optimum time to identify: late June through late September
- Growth form: Forb-erect
- Vegetative reproduction:
- Life cycle: Perennial
- Comments: Associated Species: Pinus banksiana, Quercus ellipsoidalis, Polygala cruciata, Rhynchospora capitellata, Muhlenbergia uniflora, Viola lanceolata, Bartonia virginica, Euthamia graminifolia, Solidago canadensis.
Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin
The table below provides information about the protected status - state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Virginia Meadow-beauty (Rhexia virginica). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where this species has been found to date and is not meant as a range map.
|Federal Status in Wisconsin||none|
|Tracked by NHI||Y|
Habitats and landscapes
The Natural Heritage Inventory has developed scores indicating the degree to which each of Wisconsin's rare plant species is associated with a particular natural community or ecological landscape. This information is similar to that found in the Wildlife Action Plan for animals. As this is a work in progress, we welcome your suggestions and feedback.
General habitat information
- Habitat description: Found in wet, acid ditches, as well as in ponds and lakes with fluctuating water levels in the bed of Glacial Lake Wisconsin.
- Soils: Moist to wet, sometimes acidic soils.
This table lists the natural communities that are associated with Virginia Meadow-beauty. Scores for natural community associations are: "significant" association (score=3), "moderate association" (score=2) or the species can be present but is only weakly associated with the community (score=1).
This table lists the ecological landscape association scores for Virginia Meadow-beauty. The scores (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None) also correspond to the map.
The Endangered Resources Program has developed avoidance measures and management guidelines for plants on the Natural Heritage Working List. These are a work in progress, and we welcome your suggestions and feedback. Sources used in developing this information can be found here.
These are specific actions designed to avoid "take" (mortality) of this species.
- Avoid known individual plant locations and conduct operations elsewhere when they are least likely to cause damage. Ideally, this would involve frozen, snow-covered ground. However, in areas of the state where frozen conditions are unreliable, very dry soils late in the growing season might be the best available alternative. Consult with a biologist, if needed.
- Avoid broadcast spraying of herbicides; use care with spot spraying.
Management guidelines are additional considerations that may help maintain or enhance habitat for this species
- Avoid disturbance to shorelines and the forest-beach interface.
- Minimize disturbance to hydrology, including soil disturbance from rutting.
- Maintain and restore open habitat through selective clearing and brushing.
Links to additional Virginia Meadow-beauty information
Other links related to vascular plants (all exit the DNR website)
- Wisconsin Vascular Plants
- Freckmann Herbarium
- Atlas of Wisconsin Prairie and Savanna Flora - Wisconsin State Herbarium
- USDA - NRCS Plants Database
- USGS Midwestern Wetland Flora - field office guide to plant species
- Cofrin Center for Biodiversity Herbarium
- Intermountain Herbarium Grasses of North America
- Orchids of Wisconsin
Support for Wisconsin's rare plant information has been provided by the Division of Forestry, the Endangered Resources Fund and the Wisconsin Rare Plant Preservation Fund. To donate, visit the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.