Cacalia plantaginea
Prairie indian-plantain
Image of Cacalia plantaginea

Photo by Susan R. Crispin 

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Key Characteristics

Tall perennial forb (up to 1.5 m) of open calcareous wetlands; leaves elliptical with arching parallel veins; flowers white, borne in flat-topped cluster.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
  • State Rank: S3 - Vulnerable
  • Global Rank: G4G5 - Rank is uncertain, ranging from apparently secure to secure


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Presque Isle32010
St. Joseph12012
Van Buren52005
Distribution map for Cacalia plantaginea

Updated 2/25/2015. 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.


Occurs in a variety of moist, calcareous open habitat including fens, prairies, sedge meadows, and calcareous lakeshores.

Natural Community Types

Associated Plants

Bluejoint grass, cordgrass, rush, sedges, twig-rush, shrubby cinquefoil, swamp milkweed, big bluestem, Indian grass, Sullivant's milkweed, purple milkweed, swamp thistle, eastern prairie fringed orchid, marsh blazing star, whorled loosestrife, grass-of-Parnassus, smooth hedge nettle, swamp rose, Missouri ironweed, joe-pye weed, common bone set, spike-rush.


Requires protection of hydrology, groundwater source, and natural disturbance regime. This species benefits from management that includes prescribed fire and brush removal, which maintains open habitat and reduces competing woody vegetation. Control invasive species, particularly glossy buckthorn, a common invader of this type of habitat. Protect habitat from being drained and developed.

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 [Accessed Mar 6, 2015]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract


Survey References

Technical References