Proserpinaca pectinata
Mermaid-weed
Image of Proserpinaca pectinata

Photo by Susan R. Crispin 

Key Characteristics

Aquatic emergent plant disjunct from the Atlantic coastal plain; both submerged and emergent alternate leaves similar, deeply pinnately divided and feather-like; 3-parted flowers and fruits tiny, borne in leaf axils of emergent leaves.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: E
  • State Rank: S1
  • Global Rank: G5

Occurrences

County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Ottawa12011
Distribution map for Proserpinaca pectinata

Updated 1/31/2017. 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

Mermaid-weed is known from a single site in southwest Lower Michigan where it is found in a sandy, wet, peaty ditch that is seasonally inundated. The species should be sought in coastal plain marshes.

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

Common water horehound, steeplebush, sensitive fern, panic grass, sedge, bluejoint grass, twig-rush, sedges, bushy aster, black-fruited spike-rush, umbrella-grass, northern clubmoss, panic grass, cross-leaved milkwort, bald rush, tall beak-rush, tooth-cup, netted nut-rush, hyssop hedge nettle, marsh St John's-wort, pipewort, autumn sedge, meadow beauty; shrub margin: red maple, black gum, pin oak, black chokecherry, dogwoods, and buttonbush.

Management

This species requires conservation of habitat and protection of the hydrology (maintenance of cyclical drawdown regime and water table). Maintain moist, open habitat. It is also vulnerable to ORV impacts, dredging, and filling of sites.

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 Jun 25, 2017]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract

References

Survey References

Technical References

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