Plants and Animals

Fimbristylis puberula Chestnut sedge

species photo
Robert H. Read
species photo
Robert H. Read

Key Characteristics

Small graminoid of sandy lakeplain prairies; leaves stiffly erect and linear with inrolled margins; inflorescence open and umbrella-like with several ovoid spikelets; achenes small, flattened.

Status and Rank

US Status:
State Status: X - Presumed extirpated (legally 'threatened' if rediscovered)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: SX - Presumed extirpated

Occurrences

CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Berrien11838
Cass11838
St. Clair11904

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

Flat lakeplain landscapes with depressions and other areas characterized by a fluctuating water table: including coastal plain marshes, sandy lake edges, wet swales within oak barrens and other types of intermittent wetlands. Last collected in Michigan in 1904 from Harsen's Island in the St. Clair River delta.

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

Virtually no collection data are known for Michigan's only two collections of this species. In the Chicago region, associates include big bluestem, azure aster, heath aster, shooting star, downy gentian, yellow-eyed-grass, prairie cinquefoil, nut-rush, and blue-eyed grass.

Management Recommendations

Status surveys are necessary to determine if this species still occurs in the state. If found, it would like require conservation of habitat and protection of the hydrology (maintenance of cyclical drawdown regime and water table), as well as the maintenance of moist, open habitat. Likely particularly vulnerable to ORV impacts. The use of prescribed burns to perpetuate open prairie habitat dominated by grasses and other graminoids would also probably be beneficial.

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 third week of July to fourth week of September

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

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2002. Flora of North America, North of Mexico. Volume 23: Magnoliaphyta: Commelinidae (in part): Cyperaceae. Oxford University Press, New York. 608pp.
  • 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.
  • Radford, A. E., H. E. Ahles, and C. R. Bell. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill. 1183pp.
  • Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region, 4th ed. Indiana Academy of Science, Indianapolis. 921pp.
  • Voss, E. G. 1972. Michigan Flora. Part I. Gymnosperms and Monocots. Bulletin of the Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. 488pp.