Symphyotrichum sericeum
Western silvery aster
Image of Symphyotrichum sericeum

Photo by Kim A. Chapman 

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Key Characteristics

Perennial forb of dry prairies; leaves sessile with numerous fine silvery, silky hairs; flowers purple.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: T
  • State Rank: S2
  • Global Rank: G5

Occurrences

County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Allegan12014
Kalamazoo11936
Kent11896
Newaygo52013
St. Joseph21936
Van Buren12009
Distribution map for Symphyotrichum sericeum

Updated 7/21/2017. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.

Habitat

Found in openings within oak-pine barrens, often in bowl prairies, dry banks, and old fields.

Natural Community Types

Methodology

For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

Black oak, white oak, northern pin oak, red pine, jack pine, prairie willow, sand cherry, prairie heart leaved aster, common ragweed, prairie alum root, black-eyed Susan, big bluestem, little bluestem, Pennsylvania, tower mustard, whorled milkweed, Ohio horse mint, old field balsam, hairy hawkweed, dwarf dandelion, rough blazing star, cylindrical blazing star, blue toadflax, wild lupine, horsemint, racemed milkwort, panic grass, and Venus looking glass.

Management

The habitat of this species has been severely degraded and diminished. Conservation and restoration of native prairie remnants is necessary. This species requires natural disturbances associated with barrens and grassland habitat such as prescribed fire and brush removal.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Jul 24, 2017]

References

Survey References

Technical References

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