Plants and Animals

Jeffersonia diphylla Twinleaf

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

Key Characteristics

Medium-sized forb of rich woods and floodplains; leaves with two identical lobes, joined in the middle (reminiscent of a butterfly); flowers white with the petals dropping soon after flowering; fruit a capsule on a long stalk.

Status and Rank

US Status:
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: S3 - Vulnerable

Occurrences

CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Berrien31994
Clinton52013
Genesee22010
Ionia42003
Isabella11977
Kent21980
Lapeer11958
Lenawee21998
Oakland22010
Ottawa12010
Saginaw21968
Shiawassee11963
St. Clair11904
Washtenaw42011
Wayne21933

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

Twinleaf is found in mesic forests with rich, loamy soils and in floodplain forests.

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

Beech, sugar maple, basswood, tulip poplar, white ash, bitternut hickory, wild leek, ginger, cut-leaved toothwort, dutchman's breeches, yellow trout lily, Virginia waterleaf, false rue anemone, woodland phlox, common trillium, ginseng, goldenseal, bloodroot, early meadow-rue, hepatica, and beaked violet.

Management Recommendations

Protect from excessive overstory removal, rutting of soil, and impacts to local hydrology. Maintain healthy intact, mature forests and minimize forest fragmentation due to development. When possible, leave large tracts of unharvested forests and allow natural processes to operate unhindered. If forest is being managed for timber, minimize fragmentation, leave long periods of recuperation between harvests (50-70 yrs.), preserve as much area as possible in a forested matrix, and maintain a range of canopy closure comparable to pre-harvest closure.

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 April to first week of May

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

  • Coffin, B. and L. Pfannmuller, eds. 1988. Minnesota's Endangered Flora and Fauna. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. 473pp.
  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 1997. Flora of North America, North of Mexico. Volume 3: Magnoliophyta: Magnoliidae and Hamamelidae. Oxford University Press, New York. 590pp.
  • 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.
  • Mitchell, R.S. and J.K. Dean. 1978. Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family) of New York State. Bulletin Number 431. New York State Museum, Albany. 79pp.
  • Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region, 4th ed. Indiana Academy of Science, Indianapolis. 921pp.
  • Voss, E. G. 1985. Michigan Flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae-Cornaceae). Bulletin of the Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. 724pp.