Plants and Animals
Phlox bifida Cleft phlox
Slender forb of sandy prairies and open woods; stem matted and decumbent at base, hairy, bearing opposite linear leaves; flower pale violet, petals strongly notched, uniting to form a floral tube.
Status and Rank
State Status: X - Presumed extirpated (legally 'threatened' if rediscovered)
Global Rank: G5? - Secure (inexact)
State Rank: SX - Presumed extirpated
|County||Number of Occurrences||Year Last Observed|
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.
In its core range, cleft phlox is found in open oak woods, sandy, scrub-oak savanna, and sandy open ground. Only one collection from Michigan (1890) may have represented a naturally occurring population, here in oak savanna on a lakeshore.
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.
Black oak, dwarf chinquapin oak, white oak, fragrant sumac, red cedar, Canada bluegrass, wild bergamot, old-field goldenrod, thimbleweed, lousewort, little bluestem, leadplant, New Jersey tea, flowering spurge, western sunflower, bird's foot violet, and bush clover.
This species requires protection of the habitat and of the hydrological and natural disturbance regimes. This species likely requires natural disturbances associated with prairie habitat such as prescribed fire or brush removal to prevent woody plant succession. Much of this habitat type has been lost or severely degraded.
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 May to first week of June
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- 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.
- Mohlenbrock, R.H. 1986. Guide to the Vascular Flora of Illinois. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 507pp.
- 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.