Gillenia trifoliata
Bowman's root

Key Characteristics

Small forb (70 cm) of open oak woods; leaves trifoliate and sessile, each leaflet lanceolate and sharply toothed; flower white, 5-parted.

Status and Rank

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


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Gillenia trifoliata

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.


Known only from the back of a clearing made in thin oak woods within a state game area.

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

Black huckleberry, New Jersey tea, bracken fern, black cherry, pin oak, black oak, sassafras, gray dogwood, poison ivy, black raspberry, low early blueberry, Pennsylvania sedge, wood rush, and blue-eyed-grass.


This is apparently a successional species, requiring openings, and would likely benefit from management that maintains oak barrens and oak savanna habitat such as prescribed fire.

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 Aug 18, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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