Plants and Animals
Cerastium brachypodum Shortstalk chickweed
Small annual forb (10-40 cm) of rocky outcrops in the Upper Peninsula; plant with sticky pubescence and opposite narrowly lanceolate, pubescent blades; flowers showy with 5 white petals, each deeply forked; fruiting capsules with 10 short teeth at the opening, borne on a strongly arching pedicel that is usually no longer than the length of the capsule.
Status and Rank
State Status: T - Threatened (legally protected)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: S2 - 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.
This species is known from rock outcrops and alvar in the Upper Peninsula. Little is known about its specific habitat requirements, and surveys for this recently listed species are needed.
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.
Data on associates are currently lacking, but likely includes species typical of its alvar and rock outcrop habitat.
Requires protection of the habitat and perpetuation of natural disturbance (i.e. prescribed fire, wind throw, etc.) and hydrological regimes. Since alvar and rocky outcrops are primarily sedge and grass dominated communities, species found in this community usually do not tolerate later stages of succession and require management that prevents woody plant encroachment, such as prescribed burns or brush removal. This species is likely susceptible to damage from excessive recreational use and foot traffic.
Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.
Survey Period: From first week of May to fourth week of July
- 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
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- 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.
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- 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.