Plants and Animals
Symphyotrichum praealtum Willow aster
Perennial forb of fields, thickets, prairies, and savannas; leaves sessile with prominent veins, numerous, without teeth; flowers blue.
Status and Rank
US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: S3 - Vulnerable
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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.
Occurs in fields, thickets, and remnant lakeplain prairies, occasionally in weedy successional openings.
Natural Community Types
- Dry-mesic prairie
- Lakeplain oak openings
- Lakeplain wet prairie
- Lakeplain wet-mesic prairie
- Mesic sand prairie
- Oak barrens
- Oak openings
- Southern shrub-carr
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.
Colic root, little bluestem, big bluestem, shrubby cinquefoil, poison sumac, tamarack, beak-rush, seedbox, three-awned grass, tick-trefoil, rough goldenrod, Riddel's goldenrod, coastal plain flat-topped goldenrod, sedges, rushes (Juncus marginatus, J. canadensis, J. biflorus, J. brachycarpus), and other aster species.
Maintain natural hydrological regime for this species. Prescribed fire may be necessary to conserve populations.
Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.
Survey Period: From first week of August to fourth week of September
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- Gray, A. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany; eighth ed. Van Nostrand Reinghold, New York. 1632pp.
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- Voss, E.G. 1996. Michigan Flora. Part III. Dicots (Pyrolaceae-Compositae). Bulletin of the Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. 622pp.