Fimbristylis puberula
Chestnut sedge
Image of Fimbristylis puberula

Photo by Robert H. Read 

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Key Characteristics

Small graminoid of sandy lakeplain prairies; leaves stiffly erect and linear with inrolled margins; inflorescence open and umbrella-like with several ovoid spikelets; achenes small, flattened.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: X
  • State Rank: SX
  • Global Rank: G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
St. Clair11904
Distribution map for Fimbristylis puberula

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.


Flat lakeplain landscapes with depressions and other areas characterized by a fluctuating water table: including coastal plain marshes, sandy lake edges, wet swales within oak barrens and other types of intermittent wetlands. Last collected in Michigan in 1904 from Harsen's Island in the St. Clair River delta.

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

Virtually no collection data are known for Michigan's only two collections of this species. In the Chicago region, associates include big bluestem, azure aster, heath aster, shooting star, downy gentian, yellow-eyed-grass, prairie cinquefoil, nut-rush, and blue-eyed grass.


Status surveys are necessary to determine if this species still occurs in the state. If found, it would like require conservation of habitat and protection of the hydrology (maintenance of cyclical drawdown regime and water table), as well as the maintenance of moist, open habitat. Likely particularly vulnerable to ORV impacts. The use of prescribed burns to perpetuate open prairie habitat dominated by grasses and other graminoids would also probably be beneficial.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Aug 18, 2018]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract


Survey References

Technical References

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