Photo by Susan R. Crispin
Very low prostrate shrub of open habitat in the Upper Peninsula; forming circular clones in dense mats up to several meters in diameter; small, roundish deciduous leaves have bristle-tipped teeth; single, pinkish, bell-shaped flowers are borne in the leaf axils.
Status and Rank
- State Status: T - Threatened (legally protected)
- State Rank: S1S2 - Rank is uncertain, ranging from critically imperiled to imperiled
- Global Rank: G5 - Secure
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Updated 04/16/2014. 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.
Dwarf bilberry occurs in open or semi-open habitats in the Upper Peninsula on dry, sandy soil. It is also found in seasonally wet, meadow-like areas intermixed with dry northern forest and dry sand prairie.
Natural Community Types
- Dry sand prairie
- Volcanic bedrock lakeshore
- Sandstone lakeshore cliff
- Sandstone cliff
- Dry northern forest
Big bluestem, little bluestem, Pennsylvania sedge, 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, Venus looking glass, grasses, and sedges.
This species is the larval host plant for the state threatened northern blue butterfly. Disturbances to the sod should be avoided. Fire may play an important role in maintaining habitat, but never burn an entire site all at once. Active management to limit canopy closure may be needed if fire is not an option. The habitat of this species has been severely degraded and diminished.
General Survey Guidelines
Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.
- Meander search
Survey Period: From third week of May to fourth week of July
More InformationSee MNFI Species Abstract
- Elzinga, C.L., D.W. Salzer, and J.W. Willoughby. 1998. Measuring and Monitoring Plant Populations. The Nature Conservancy and Bureau of Land Management, Denver. BLM Technical Reference 1730-1. 477pp.
- Goff, G.F., G.A. Dawson, and J.J. Rochow. 1982. Site examination for Threatened and Endangered plant species. Environmental Management 6(4): 307-316
- Nelson, J.R. 1984. Rare Plant Field Survey Guidelines. In: J.P. Smith and R. York. Inventory of rare and endangered vascular plants of California. 3rd Ed. California Native Plant Society, Berkeley. 174pp.
- Nelson, J.R. 1986. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques For Impact Assessment. Natural Areas Journal 5(3):18-30.
- Nelson, J.R. 1987. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques for Impact Assessment. In: Conservation and management of rare and endangered plants. Ed. T.S. Elias. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento. 8pp.
- Gleason, H. A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second edition. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 910pp.
- Gray, A. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany; eighth ed. Van Nostrand Reinghold, New York. 1632pp.
- Holmgren, N.H. 1998. Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the vascular plants of Northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 937pp.
- Scoggan, H.J. 1978. The Flora of Canada. National Museum of Natural Science Publications Botany 4: 1711pp.
- Voss, E.G. 1996. Michigan Flora. Part III. Dicots (Pyrolaceae-Compositae). Bulletin of the Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. 622pp.