Plants and Animals
Cuscuta campestris Field dodder
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
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not 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.
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).
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.
Found on Virginia creeper, jewelweed, tickseed, and leatherleaf, and also on the non-native trumpet creeper vine.
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.
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 August to fourth week of September
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- 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.
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- 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.