Plants and Animals

Eurybia furcata Forked aster

species photo

Key Characteristics

Perennial forb (30-80 cm) of floodplain forests; lowest leaves with heart-shaped bases and a distinct petiole, top surface very rough to touch; flower petals white, inflorescence flat-topped (or slightly rounded).

Status and Rank

US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: T - Threatened (legally protected)
Global Rank: G3 - Vulnerable
State Rank: S1 - Critically imperiled


CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Mason 2 2020
Midland 4 2014
Monroe 1 1906

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.


Very local in riparian forests and along riverbanks, especially in openings and small clearings.

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

Acer negundo (box-elder), Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog-peanut), Anemone canadensis (Canada anemone), Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood), Celastrus scandens (American bittersweet), Clematis virginiana (Virgin's bower), Cornus sericea (red-osier), Daucus carota (Queen Anne's-lace), Elymus canadensis (Canada wild-rye), Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod), Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash), Helianthus decapetalus (thin-leaved sunflower), Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia), Lonicera morrowii (Morrow honeysuckle), Maianthemum racemosum (spikenard), M. stellatum (starry false Solomon-seal), Matteuccia struthiopteris (ostrich fern), Menispermum canadense (moonseed), Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot), Panicum virgatum (switch grass), Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper), Physocarpus opulifolius (ninebark), Populus deltoides (cottonwood), Quercus rubra (red oak), Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn), Rubus occidentalis (common blackberry), Solidago altissima (tall goldenrod), S. gigantea (late goldenrod), Symphyotrichum cordifolium (heart-leaved aster), Teucrium canadense (wood sage), Thalictrum dasycarpum (purple meadow-rue), Tilia americana (basswood), Urtica dioica (stinging nettle), Verbena urticifolia (white vervain), Vitis riparia (riverbank grape).

Management Recommendations

In floodplain forests, the primary conservation need is maintenance of the natural hydrological regime and other ecological processes that maintain riparian forest habitat. Maintaining openings is apparently important.

Survey Methods

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

  • Meander search

    • Survey Period: From second week of August to fourth week of September


Survey References

  • Elzinga, C.L., D.W. Salzer, and J.W. Willoughby. 1998. Measuring and Monitoring Plant Populations. The Nature Conservancy and Bureau of Land Management, Denver. BLM Technical Reference 1730-1. 477pp.
  • Goff, G.F., G.A. Dawson, and J.J. Rochow. 1982. Site examination for Threatened and Endangered plant species. Environmental Management 6(4): 307-316
  • Nelson, J.R. 1984. Rare Plant Field Survey Guidelines. In: J.P. Smith and R. York. Inventory of rare and endangered vascular plants of California. 3rd Ed. California Native Plant Society, Berkeley. 174pp.
  • Nelson, J.R. 1986. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques For Impact Assessment. Natural Areas Journal 5(3):18-30.
  • Nelson, J.R. 1987. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques for Impact Assessment. In: Conservation and management of rare and endangered plants. Ed. T.S. Elias. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento. 8pp.

Technical References

  • Antonio, T.M. and S. Masi. 2001.The Sunflower Family in the Upper Midwest. A Photographic Guide to the Asteraceae in Illinois, Indianan, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Indiana Academy of Science, Indianapolis. 421pp.
  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2006. Flora of North America, North of Mexico. Volume 20: Magnoliophyta: Asteridae (in part): Asteraceae, part 2. Oxford University Press, New York. 666pp.
  • Gleason, H. A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second edition. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 910pp.
  • Gray, A. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany; eighth ed. Van Nostrand Reinghold, New York. 1632pp.
  • Holmgren, N.H. 1998. Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the vascular plants of Northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 937pp.
  • Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region, 4th ed. Indiana Academy of Science, Indianapolis. 921pp.
  • Voss, E.G. 1996. Michigan Flora. Part III. Dicots (Pyrolaceae-Compositae). Bulletin of the Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. 622pp.