Plants and Animals

Cerastium velutinum Field Chickweed

Key Characteristics

Small perennial forb (10-40 cm) of open woodlands; plant with sticky pubescence and opposite lanceolate blades 4-8 mm wide; inflorescence subtended by herbaceous bracts covered in glandular pubescence, pedicels very short (1 cm); fruiting capsules shaped like a powderhorn, with 10 short teeth at the opening.

Status and Rank

US Status:
State Status: X - Presumed extirpated (legally 'threatened' if rediscovered)
Global Rank: G5T4?
State Rank: SX - Presumed extirpated

Occurrences

CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
St. Clair11832
Wayne31913

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

This rare species occurs in southern oak savannas, and is known historically only from the greater Detroit area, where it was collected in wooded borders, oak savanna, and unspecified habitats. It was last collected in 1913.

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

No data exist on associates, but likely include plants typical of savannas in the southern Great Lakes region.

Management Recommendations

This species is at the northern edge of its range in southern Michigan. A status survey is recommended for savannas in southeast Michigan. If found, it would likely benefit from activities that maintain savannas such as prescribed burning and brush control.

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 April to first week of June

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

  • Deam, C. C. 1940. Flora of Indiana. Department of Conservation, Indianapolis. 1236pp.
  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2005. Flora of North America, North of Mexico. Volume 5: Magnoliophyta: Caryophyllidae, part 2. Oxford University Press, New York. 656pp.
  • Gray, A. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany; eighth ed. Van Nostrand Reinghold, New York. 1632pp.