Plants and Animals

Linum sulcatum Furrowed flax

species photo
Merel Black
species photo
Robert W. Freckmann

Key Characteristics

Small slender forb of dry prairies and barrens; leaves narrow and scattered along the stem, with a pair of dark stipular glands at the leaf base; flowers yellow, the tiny outer sepals (4 mm) with minute glandular teeth on the margin.

Status and Rank

US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: S2S3 - Rank is uncertain, ranging from imperiled to vulnerable


CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Allegan 3 2023
Genesee 1 1927
Kalamazoo 1 1838
Kent 1 1896
Lapeer 1 1927
Leelanau 1 1953
Mecosta 2 1990
Menominee 1 1984
Muskegon 1 1949
Newaygo 11 2013
Oakland 2 2006
Tuscola 1 1910

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.


This species is found in disturbed pockets with exposed mineral soil within oak barrens and dry prairie remnants.

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

Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem), Artemisia campestris (wild wormwood), Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly-weed), Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge), Coreopsis lanceolata (sand coreopsis), Cyperus lupulinus (slender sand sedge), Danthonia spicata (poverty grass), Euphorbia corollata (flowering spurge), Galium pilosum (hairy bedstraw), Geum triflorum (prairie-smoke), Hesperostipa spartea (porcupine grass), Koeleria macrantha (June grass), Lechea mucronata (hairy pinweed), Lespedeza capitata (round-headed bush-clover), L. hirta (hairy bush-clover), Liatris aspera (rough blazing-star), L. cylindricacea (cylindrical blazing-star), Lupinus perennis (wild lupine), Monarda fistulosa (wild-bergamot), Opuntia humifusa (prickly-pear), Pinus strobus (white pine), Quercus alba (white oak), Q. velutina (black oak), Rubus flagellaris (northern dewberry), Rubeckia hirta (black-eyed Susan), Sassafras albidum (sassafras), Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem), Solidago nemoralis (gray goldenrod), Symphyotrichum oolentangiense (sky-blue aster), S. sericeum (silky aster).

Management Recommendations

This species likely needs openings and may respond positively to prescribed fire.

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 June to fourth week of August


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.
  • Deam, C. C. 1940. Flora of Indiana. Department of Conservation, Indianapolis. 1236pp.
  • 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. 1985. Michigan Flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae-Cornaceae). Bulletin of the Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. 724pp.