Rubus acaulis
Dwarf raspberry
Image of Rubus acaulis

Photo by Bradford S. Slaughter 

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Key Characteristics

Small tufted forb of minerotrophic peatlands in the Upper Peninsula; stems upright and spineless, bearing trifoliate leaves, the terminal one broadly ovate and short-stalked, the lateral ones sessile, often with a small thumb-like lobe on the side; 5- parted flowers are deep pink, borne on long glandless stalks.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: E
  • State Rank: S1
  • Global Rank: G5T5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Rubus acaulis

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.


A boreal species found in open to partially forested poor to rich fens, often on hummocks at the margins of large peatland complexes.

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

Trees: Larix laricina (tamarack), Picea mariana (black spruce), Pinus strobus (white pine), Thuja occidentalis (northern white-cedar).

Shrubs: Alnus incana (tag alder), Andromeda glaucophylla (bog-rosemary), Aronia prunifolia (chokeberry), Betula pumila (bog birch), Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf), Dasiphora fruticosa (shrubby cinquefoil), Lonicera villosa (mountain fly honeysuckle), Myrica gale (sweet gale), Rhamnus alnifolia (alder-leaved buckthorn), Rhododendron groenlandicum (Labrador-tea), Vaccinium oxycoccos (small cranberry).

Herbs: Anemone quinquefolia (wood anemone), Calamagrostis canadensis (blue-joint), Carex exilis, C. lasiocarpa, C. livida, Cladium mariscoides (twig-rush), Comarum palustre (marsh cinquefoil), Coptis trifolia (goldthread), Doellingeria umbellata (flat-topped white aster), Drosera rotundifolia (round-leaved sundew), Equisetum fluviatile (water horsetail), Iris versicolor (northern blue flag), Linnaea borealis (twinflower), Maianthemum trifolium (false mayflower), Muhlenbergia glomerata (marsh wild-timothy), Oclemena nemoralis (bog aster), Osmunda regalis (royal fern), Pogonia ophioglossoides (rose pogonia), Pyrola americana (round-leaved pyrola), Rhynchospora alba (beak-rush), Sarracenia purpurea (pitcher-plant), Solidago rugosa (rough-leaved goldenrod), S. uliginosa (bog goldenrod), Trichophorum alpinum (Alpine bulrush), T. cespitosum (tufted bulrush).


The species primarily requires perpetuation of hydrological regime and protection of habitat. It is likely vulnerable to logging activities that impact peatlands.

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 24, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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