Plants and Animals
Silene virginica Fire pink
Perennial forb of open oak woods; stems finely hairy, bearing 2-4 pairs of narrowly oblong, opposite leaves; flowers bright red with five notched petals and a hairy calyx.
Status and Rank
State Status: E - Endangered (legally protected)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: S1 - Critically 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.
Fire pink occurs in dry open woods, sandy to loamy sand soils, particularly on steep hillsides along the Grand River.
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.
Red oak, white oak, black maple, red cedar, basswood, hackberry, green ash, prickly ash, hickory, sassafras, service berry, New Jersey tea, sweetfern, beaked hazelnut, wintergreen, huckleberry, sand cherry, dwarf chinquapin oak, low sweet blueberry, little bluestem, big bluestem, sky-blue aster, false foxglove, tickseed, nut grass, flowering spurge, hair grass, tall sunflower, dwarf dandelion, blazing star, wild bergamot, goats-rue, wood betony, needle grass, birdfoot violet.
It is likely that fire suppression and subsequent canopy closure adversely affects this species. Natural disturbances associated with prairie and savanna habitat such as prescribed fire or brush removal are like beneficial.
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 June to fourth week of June
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