Kentucky Nature Preserves Rare Plants

Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission

Appalachian Bugbane
Cimicifuga rubifolia
Family: Ranunculaceae

Protection Status:
State Status:  T
USFWS Status: {null}

Global Rank: G3
State Rank: S2

Cool mountain woods (Gleason & Cronquist 1991); mesophytic forest slopes, in Kentucky often associated with rocky outcropping on forested slopes.

Species Description:
Perennial herb.

Flowering Period: Early August to late October.

Additional Information at NatureServe

Diagnostic Characteristics:
1.5 m or more in height. The leaves are ternate (in threes) and generally near the stem base. Leaflets are generally reminiscent of maple leaves in outline and the bases are cuneate to cordate. The inflorescence is terminal (at the top of the plant) and is a long cylindric raceme of whitish flowers. The flowers lack petals and have 2-5 sepals which fall off upon or shortly after the bud opens. The fruit is a follicle that is 8-15 mm and the seeds are covered with chaffy scales.

Disturbance such as ATV trails or timber removal in the habitat for this species would likely cause increased erosion and weed invasion. Timber removal would also cause changes in light that would alter the habitat for this species and should be considered in developing management plans. Exotic pest plants are a threat to this species.

Global Range:
Primary concentration of known populations in Ridge and Valley province of eastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia; with a disjunct area of occurrence in southwestern Indiana (one county), southern Illinois (four counties), western Kentucky (four counties), and northwestern Tennessee. Also in Alabama (Kral 1983).

Known Kentucky Occurrences:

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Data last updated: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission
801 Teton Trail
Frankfort,KY 40601
Phone: (502) 573-2886
Fax: (502) 573-2355
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