Plants and Animals
Mertensia virginica Virginia bluebells
Medium-sized (to 60 cm) branching forb of floodplain forests; leaves broadly elliptical with smooth margins and rounded tips, glabrous; flowers blue and bell-shaped.
Status and Rank
US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: T - Threatened (legally protected)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: S1S2 - Rank is uncertain, ranging from critically imperiled to imperiled
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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.
Virginia bluebells occurs in first and second bottoms of riparian forests in southern Lower Michigan.
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.
Silver maple, black maple, sycamore, hackberry, cottonwood, blue-beech, red ash, beech, sugar maple, basswood, spicebush, poison ivy, wild ginger, false rue anemone, toothwort, false mermaid, Canada waterleaf, green dragon, jack-in-the-pulpit, and creamy white violet.
Conserve hydrology of river system and corresponding cyclical floodplain regime. Maintain healthy intact, mature floodplain forests and minimize forest fragmentation. When possible, leave large tracts of unharvested forests and allow natural processes to operate unhindered.
Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.
Survey Period: From third week of April to fourth week of May
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- Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region, 4th ed. Indiana Academy of Science, Indianapolis. 921pp.
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