Prunus umbellata
Alleghany or Sloe plum
Image of Prunus umbellata

Photo by Ryan P. O'Connor 

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Key Characteristics

Small straggly clonal shrub (to 3 m) of dry, open forests, barrens and dry prairies; stem with persistent thorny, black branches; leaves narrowly elliptic with acute (not elongated) tips, finely toothed and glandless on the margins; flowering very early with 5 white petals and glandless sepals.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC
  • State Rank: S3
  • Global Rank: G4G5

Occurrences

County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Alcona52002
Cheboygan11931
Crawford162005
Iosco32002
Lake42006
Lenawee31986
Manistee52006
Mason42004
Montcalm22006
Montmorency31993
Newaygo82008
Oceana62006
Ogemaw31992
Oscoda392011
Otsego11993
Roscommon22005
Distribution map for Prunus umbellata

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

Alleghany plum is found in pine barrens, oak-pine savanna, and oak savanna remnants. It often occurs along road right-of-ways, driveway cuts, and edges of more closed canopy forest.

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.

Feel free to send questions and comments to Brad Slaughter at slaugh14@msu.edu.

Associated Plants

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, black cherry, prairie willow, sand cherry, wintergreen, Canada mayflower, and Hill's thistle.

Management

The habitat of this species has been severely degraded and diminished. Conservation and restoration of native prairie remnants is necessary. This species likely requires natural disturbances associated with prairie habitat such as prescribed fire and brush removal.

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 Mar 25, 2017]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract

References

Survey References

Technical References