Plants and Animals

Myrica pensylvanica Northern bayberry

species photo
Brad Slaughter
species photo
Brad Slaughter
species photo
Brad Slaughter
species photo
Brad Slaughter

Key Characteristics

Tall shrub (2 m) of prairie fens; older branch stems whitish-gray; leaves membranous, elliptic with yellow glands on undersurface, aromatic when crushed; fruit berry-like, covered with warty protuberances.

Status and Rank

US Status:
State Status: T - Threatened (legally protected)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: S2 - Imperiled

Occurrences

CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Barry12016
Jackson12015
Washtenaw12008

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 recently discovered species has only recently been documented from Michigan, and is considered native only when occurring in its usual prairie fen habitat. Other uplands sites in old fields likely represent escapes, as it is occassionally planted as an ornamental.

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

Tamarack, alder-leaved buckthorn, poison sumac, shrubby cinquefoil, twig-rush, hardstem bulrush, wire sedge, tussock sedge, spike-rush, prairie Indian-plantain, Kalm's lobelia, whorled loosestrife, big bluestem, fringed brome, common mountain-mint, northern bedstraw, and black-eyed Susan.

Management Recommendations

Requires protection of hydrology, groundwater source, and natural disturbance regime. This species benefits from management that includes prescribed fire and brush removal, which maintains open habitat and reduces competing woody vegetation. Control invasive species, particularly glossy buckthorn, a common invader of this type of habitat. Protect habitat from being drained and developed.

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 May 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. 1997. Flora of North America, North of Mexico. Volume 3: Magnoliophyta: Magnoliidae and Hamamelidae. Oxford University Press, New York. 590pp.
  • 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.