Plants and Animals

Cuscuta campestris Field dodder

Key Characteristics

Annual parasitic vining forb of wetlands; flowers white with 5 petals, borne on short pedicels; lobes of corolla triangular and incurved; calyx smooth.

Status and Rank

US Status:
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: S1 - Critically imperiled

Occurrences

CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Berrien11973
Kalamazoo11937
St. Joseph11937

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

The status of this species is poorly known, owing to the difficulty of distinguishing species in this widespread but somewhat obscure group. Unlike other listed dodders, this species is reported to be a pest on field crops, including clover, alfalfa, and sugar beets. In Michigan, the species has been collected on leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), beggarticks (Bidens sp.), touch-me-not (Impatiens sp.), Virginia-creeper (Parthenocissus inserta), and trumpet-creeper (Campsis radicans).

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

Found on Virginia creeper, jewelweed, tickseed, and leatherleaf, and also on the non-native trumpet creeper vine.

Management Recommendations

Little in general is known about this species. It is reported to be parasitic on agricultural crops, but clearly requires better inventory to determine if this species is truly an economic pest and also what types of natural communities it inhabits.

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

  • Cooperrider, T.S. 1995. The Dicotyledonae of Ohio Part 2. Linaceae through Campanulaceae. Ohio State University Press, Columbus. 656pp.
  • 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.
  • Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region, 4th ed. Indiana Academy of Science, Indianapolis. 921pp.
  • Voss, E.G. 1996. Michigan Flora. Part III. Dicots (Pyrolaceae-Compositae). Bulletin of the Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. 622pp.