Lithospermum molle
Image of Lithospermum molle

Photo by Brad Slaughter 

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Key Characteristics

Multi-stemmed forb of dry soils, superficially resembling a puccoon (Lithospermum sp.); stems coarsely pubescent with sessile lanceolate leaves; flowers white and tubular, with acute lobes.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: X
  • State Rank: SX
  • Global Rank: G4G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Lithospermum molle

Updated 5/15/2018. 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.


In Michigan, marbleweed is known only from a collection at Niles in 1838. Elsewhere this species is known from relatively dry, open habitats.

Natural Community Types


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

In the Chicago region, this borage occurs with such species as tall boneset, narrow-leaved vervain and hoary vervain, nodding onion, dogbane, heath aster, flattened spike-rush, purple prairie clover, Arkansas mint, and small skullcap.


A status survey in southwest Michigan is needed, centering around the Niles region, to discover any remnant populations. If found, populations would likely benefit from management that maintains open prairie or savanna habitat such as prescribed burning and control of woody brush.

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 Sep 25, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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