Plants and Animals

Prunus umbellata Alleghany or Sloe plum

species photo
Susan R. Crispin
species photo
Gary Reese
species photo
Susan R. Crispin
species photo
Ryan P. O'Connor
species photo
Ryan P. O'Connor
species photo
Ryan P. O'Connor
species photo
Ryan P. O'Connor

Key Characteristics

Small straggly clonal shrub (to 3 m) of pine barrens and dry prairies; stem with persistent thorny, black branches; leaves narrowly elliptic with acute (not elongated) tips, finely toothed and glandless on the margins; flowering very early with 5 white petals and glandless sepals.

Status and Rank

US Status:
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: G4G5 - Rank is uncertain, ranging from apparently secure to secure
State Rank: S3 - Vulnerable

Occurrences

CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Alcona52002
Cheboygan11931
Crawford162005
Iosco32002
Lake42006
Lenawee31986
Manistee52006
Mason42004
Montcalm22006
Montmorency31993
Newaygo82008
Oceana62006
Ogemaw31992
Oscoda392011
Otsego11993
Roscommon22005

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

Alleghany plum is found in pine barrens, oak-pine savanna, and oak savanna remnants. It often occurs along road right-of-ways, driveway cuts, and edges of more closed canopy forest.

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

Big bluestem, little bluestem, Pennsylvania sedge, tower mustard, whorled milkweed, Ohio horse mint, old field balsam, hairy hawkweed, dwarf dandelion, rough blazing star, cylindrical blazing star, blue toadflax, wild lupine, horsemint, racemed milkwort, panic grass, Venus looking glass, black cherry, prairie willow, sand cherry, wintergreen, Canada mayflower, and Hill's thistle.

Management Recommendations

The habitat of this species has been severely degraded and diminished. Conservation and restoration of native prairie remnants is necessary. This species likely requires natural disturbances associated with prairie habitat such as prescribed fire and brush removal.

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 April to fourth week of August

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

  • 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.
  • Voss, E. G. 1985. Michigan Flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae-Cornaceae). Bulletin of the Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. 724pp.