Plants and Animals

Corispermum pallasii Pallas' bugseed

Key Characteristics

Branched, 10 to 45 cm tall annual forb of dunes and beaches; leaves less than 4.0 mm wide, tipped with sharp, non-green tip (i.e., mucro) less than 0.5 mm long; inflorescence densely flowered except at base; fruit winged, greater than 2.3 mm wide.

Status and Rank

US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: G4? - Apparently secure (inexact)
State Rank: SNR - Not ranked


CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Alger 2 1974
Berrien 2 1995
Crawford 3 2023
Huron 1 1958
Leelanau 1 1985
Mackinac 1 1995
Mason 2 2011
Oscoda 1 2023
Ottawa 2 2015
Van Buren 1 2021
Wayne 1 1930

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.


Found on dunes and sandy beaches of all Great Lakes; rarely inland in disturbed, sandy sites (e.g., blowout, gravel pit); Usually found in full sun on dry, well-drained sandy soil.

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

Common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), thyme-leaved sandwort (Arenaria serpyllifolia), common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), sand reed grass (Calamovilfa longifolia), Pitcher’s thistle (Cirsium pitcher), Canada wild rye (Elymus canadensis), seaside spurge (Euphorbia polygonifolia), false buckwheat (Fallopia scandens), witch grass (Panicum capillare), and little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium).

Management Recommendations

This species primarily requires protection of the Great Lakes shoreline habitat and perpetuation of natural disturbance (e.g., winter ice, storms, wind, waves) and periodic fluctuations of Great Lakes water levels. Protect occupied habitat and adjacent habitat to allow for temporal and spatial change in habitat with fluctuation of the Great Lakes. Many of the species found in this community do not tolerate later stages of succession. Protect from development and off-road vehicle activity in occupied and adjacent habitat.

Survey Methods

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

  • Meander search

    • Survey Period: From second week of July to first week of October


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

  • Dister, D.C. 2017. The vascular flora of Ludington State Park, Mason County, Michigan. The Great Lakes Botanist 56: 52–90.
  • Mosyakin, S.L. 2003. Corispermum. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 19+ vols. New York and Oxford. Vol. 4, pp. 314–318. Available at:
  • Reznicek, A.A., E.G. Voss, and B.S. Walters. 2011. Corispermum pallasii Steven. Michigan Flora Online. University of Michigan. Web. Available at: [Accessed January 10, 2020].
  • Voss, E.G., and A.A. Reznicek. 2012. Field Manual of Michigan Flora. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, MI. 1008 pp.