Natural Community Plant Lists

Wild lupine (Lupinus perennis). Photo by Aaron P. Kortenhoven

Lists of characteristic plants were primarily compiled from field data collected on each of the natural communities, but were also informed by literature review. Especially helpful resources for compiling the plant lists were Field Manual of Michigan Flora (Voss and Reznicek, 2012), and Michigan Flora Online (Reznicek et al. 2011), which include specific habitat information for most plants; the “Floristic Quality Assessment for Michigan” (Herman et al. 2001); and the USDA Plants Database, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA 2013). The scientific nomenclature used in this book follows the Field Manual of Michigan Flora, and plants were organized by life form or physiognomy following the designations of the Michigan Flora Online. Plant species were selected for inclusion in the lists of characteristic species if they frequently occur in a particular natural community type, and especially if they are known from few other community types. As such, plants that occur in a very broad range of community types were sometimes excluded from the lists in favor of species that may be better indicators of particular natural community types because of their narrow niche requirements. Bryophytes (namely, mosses) and lichens are included in these lists where we have survey data or supporting literature. However, the relationship of prevalent bryophytes and lichens and natural community types needs further study.

Plant Lists by Natural Community Type


Cohen, J.G., M.A. Kost, B.S. Slaughter, D.A. Albert, J.M. Lincoln, A.P. Kortenhoven, C.M. Wilton, H.D. Enander, and K.M. Korroch. 2020. Michigan Natural Community Classification [web application]. Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Michigan State University Extension, Lansing, Michigan. Available (Accessed: June 19, 2024).