Plants and Animals

Mimulus alatus Winged monkey flower

Key Characteristics

Tall forb of moist open woods and stream banks; stems square with prominent thin wings on the angles; leaves lanceolate and coarsely toothed, on a short, winged petiole; flowers tubular and two-lipped with blue petals.

Status and Rank

US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: T - Threatened (legally protected)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: S1 - Critically imperiled


CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Berrien 1 2015
Macomb 1 1916
Wayne 1 1916

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.


Known until recently only from a First Survey collection (1838) from Berrien County and 1916 collections along Lake St. Clair, where this species was found in wet, open places and low ground. Recently collected from a wet forest at the base of a ravine above a river floodplain.

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

At the recently documented location, this species occurs with:

Trees: Acer saccharum (sugar maple), Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash), Quercus rubra (red oak).

Shrubs/Woody Vines: Lindera benzoin (spicebush), Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper), Sambucus canadensis (common elder), Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade).

Herbs: Bidens frondosa (common beggar-ticks), Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle), Cinna arundinacea (wood reedgrass), Geum canadense (white avens), Glyceria striata (fowl manna grass), Impatiens capensis (spotted touch-me-not), Iris virginica (wild blue flag), Leersia oryzoides (cut grass), Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife), Pilea pumila (clearweed), Ranunculus hispidus var. nitidus (swamp buttercup), Samolus parviflorus (water-pimpernel), Scutellaria lateriflora (mad-dog skullcap), Sium suave (water-parsnip), Symphyotrichum lanceolatum (panicled aster), S. lateriflorum (calico aster).

Management Recommendations

The primary need for this species at present is continued status surveys to determine if additional extant populations can be discovered. Protection of hydrology is likely to be critical.

Survey Methods

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.

  • Meander search

    • Survey Period: From fourth week of June to fourth week of September


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.
  • Godfrey, R.K. and Wooten. 1981. Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Southeastern United States. Dicotyledons. University of Georgia Press, Athens. 712pp.
  • 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.
  • Voss, E.G., and A.A. Reznicek. 2012. Field Manual of Michigan Flora. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, MI. 1008 pp.

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