Plants and Animals
Phlox maculata Wild sweet William
Slender forb of moist prairies and fens; stem red-spotted and glabrous, bearing opposite lanceolate leaves; flower reddish-purple with 5 petals uniting to form a glabrous floral tube.
Status and Rank
State Status: T - Threatened (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.
Spotted phlox is found in alkaline sites, usually associated with prairie fens in southwesternmost Lower Michigan.
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.
Tamarack, grass-of-parnassus, shrubby cinquefoil, Virginia mountain mint, Ohio goldenrod, Riddell's goldenrod, Indian grass, hardstem bulrush, three-square, twig-rush, prairie dropseed, small white lady's slipper, bog valerian, edible valerian, rush, golden-seeded spike-rush, spike-rush, joe-pye weed, pitcher-plant, sun dew, Sphagnum mosses, common boneset, little bluestem, big bluestem, blue-joint grass, whorled loosestrife, black-eyed Susan, marsh fern, bog birch, dogwoods, willows, alder-leaved buckthorn, meadowsweet, water hemlock, bog clearweed, strict sedge, and marsh bellflower.
This plant requires protection of hydrology, groundwater source, and natural disturbance regimes. This species benefits from fen management that includes prescribed fire and brush removal, which maintains open habitat and reduces competing woody vegetation. Control of invasive species such as glossy buckthorn, which is a common invader of this type of habitat, is also recommended. The habitat is also vulnerable to being drained or filled.
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 July
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- 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.