Plants and Animals

Solidago houghtonii Houghton's goldenrod

species photo
Susan R. Crispin
species photo
Phyllis Higman
species photo
Ryan P. O'Connor

Key Characteristics

Medium-sized forb of northern Great Lakes shorelines; leaves narrow (less than 1 cm wide) and folded along the midrib, tapering to a slightly clasping base; inflorescence flat-topped with large (1 cm wide), showy, yellow flower heads bearing elongated rays (3-5 mm).

Status and Rank

US Status: LT - Listed Threatened
State Status: T - Threatened (legally protected)
Global Rank: G3 - Vulnerable
State Rank: S3 - Vulnerable

Occurrences

CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Charlevoix52011
Cheboygan72015
Chippewa82015
Crawford22012
Emmet92015
Kalkaska22012
Mackinac322015
Presque Isle62015
Schoolcraft72015

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.

Habitat

Houghton's goldenrod is found mostly within the Straits region, usually occurring near shore in linear interdunal areas and former embayments. It also inhabits alvar and bedrock beaches, and one isolated inland metapopulation is found in pine barrens associated with a high water table.

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

Twig-rush, spike-rush, beak-rush, sweet gale, shrubby cinquefoil, Kalm's St John's-wort, bluejoint grass, small fringed gentian, bog lobelia, Ohio goldenrod, false asphodel, horned bladderwort, dune grass, sand cherry, grass pink, grass-leaved goldenrod, and grass-of-Parnassus.

Management Recommendations

This species requires protection of habitat and maintenance of natural dune processes (e.g. shoreline fluctuation, erosion, sand deposition, wind, water level fluctuation, sand movement) that create the necessary microsites. Protect habitat from residential development. Prevent or remove invasive species. Vulnerable to ORV damage and also excessive foot traffic.

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 first week of August to fourth week of September

References

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.
  • Scoggan, H.J. 1978. The Flora of Canada. National Museum of Natural Science Publications Botany 4: 1711pp.
  • Semple, J.C. and G.C. Ringius. 1992. The goldenrods of Ontario: Solidago L. and Euthamia Nutt. University of Waterloo, Department of Biology, Ontario. 36: 82pp.
  • Voss, E.G. 1996. Michigan Flora. Part III. Dicots (Pyrolaceae-Compositae). Bulletin of the Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. 622pp.