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Daniel E. Wujek1 Department of Biology Central Michigan University Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858

Edwin E. Leuck II Department of Biology Centenary College Shreveport, LA 71104


Fifty species of vascular plants collected on Beaver Island are presented as new records for the Island, which is part of Charlevoix County, Michigan. Forty-nine of the species are new records for the entire Beaver Island Archipelago, and one, which was previously known on the archipelago (Carex buxbaumii), is a new record for Beaver Island itself. They include taxa from among pterido- phytes, gymnosperms, and flowering plants. Twenty of the newly reported species are non-native. Eight hundred twelve vascular plants have now been recorded for the Beaver Island Archipelago.

KEYWORDS: Beaver Island, Charlevoix County, vascular plants, new records.


The upper Great Lakes area, with its varied flora, has long been known to be botanically interesting. Voss (1972, 1985, 1996) and Voss and Reznicek (2012) have shown that the Beaver Island Archipelago exemplif ies this. Several articles detailing aspects of the flora of the archipelago’s ten islands (Beaver, High, Gar- den, Hog, Gull, Trout, Whiskey, Squaw, Hat, and Pismier) have included reports of the pteridophytes (Veldman and Wujek 1971), a sedge (Menapace and Wujek 1987), the flora of the archipelago’s most northern island, Hog Island (Whately et al. 2005), and more recently an illustrated guide to plants of the bogs and fens and the Lake Michigan beaches on Beaver Island (Leuck and Wujek 2007).

The present contribution reports additions to the flora of Beaver Island itself. An updated list of the species previously reported for Beaver Island and the arch- ipelago is available at MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE (2011).


Plants were collected over time in various courses the authors have taught on the island since 1969, on nature walks in conjunction with numerous groups, or brought to our attention by an is- lander or as part of a student collection. Voucher specimens for all of the taxa listed below are housed

1 Author for Correspondence (


in the herbarium at Central Michigan University (CMC). All voucher specimens are digitized and available for viewing online at Consortium of Midwest Herbaria (2016). Nomenclature follows Voss and Reznicek (2012) for gymnosperms and angiosperms, and MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE (2011) for ferns and lycopods.


Fifty new vascular plant species are reported for Beaver Island and are listed below. Of these, 49 are also new reports for the archipelago as a whole. Twenty are non-native species and are indicated by an asterisk. The CMC accession number (in parentheses) follows the collector’s number.



Lycopodiella inundata (L.) Holub (Bog Clubmoss) Hohn s.n. (CMC 0219) July 30, 1973). It is localized at only one specif ic area on the Sphagnum mat on the southwestern edge of Green’s Lake bog.



*Picea abies (L.) Karst. (Norway Spruce) Leuck 2003 (CMU 18245) July 25, 2010. Trees are located at various home sites in northern third of the island. A plantation of them exists in the meadow on the north side of Green’s Lake.

*Pinus sylvestris L. (Scots Pine) Leuck 1654 (CMC 18009) July 28, 1997. Scattered plants were originally observed at the central and north end of the island. Now, however, they have invaded all areas of the island.



Alisma triviale Pursh (Northern Water-Plantain) Wujek s.n. (CMC 17465) 2 July 29, 2003. This species was f irst noted in 1995 (Wujek, personal observation) when a single plant was observed growing on top of a beaver lodge along the southeast shore of Fox Lake. It has now become widely dispersed at the northwestern corner of the lake and to several others of the inland lakes.

ARACEAE Lemna turionifera Landolt (Duckweed) NSF Group s.n. (CMC 2851) July 5, 1965. Very lo- calized on small ponds and several inland lake backwaters.


Carex buxbaumii Wahl. (Buxbaum’s Sedge) Wujek s.n. (CMC 15740) July 10. 1985. Al- though f irst reported for the archipelago from Hog Island (Whately et al. 2005), it had been observed earlier (1970) from Beaver Island, but not collected (Wujek, personal observa- tion). Common on the road behind Donegal Bay.

Carex concinna R. Br. (Beauty/Low Northern Sedge) Wujek s.n. (CMC 18573) July 30, 1997. Observed initially along the stony calcareous shore of Indian Harbor on Garden Is- land, it was subsequently collected at Donegal Bay and Gull Harbor on Beaver Island.


Streptopus amplexifolius (L.) DC (Twisted-stalk) Wujek-Field Botany s.n. (CMC 13132) July 22, 1993. Very scattered in the understory along the island’s east side in the deciduous or mixed forests.


ORCHIDACEAE *Epipactis helleborine (L.) Crantz (Helleborine) J. Pung s.n. (CMC 18573) October 31, 1999. First observed growing at the blow-out on Font Lake in 1985 (Wujek, personal observa- tion), it is now widely distributed on the island.

POACEAE Leersia oryzoides (L.) Sw. (Cut Grass) Wujek s.n. (CMC 14064) July 27, 1989. This grass ap- parently did not occur on the island until after 1979. In that year Jaworski’s (1979) survey of the island’s grasses did not report its presence. Since it was originally observed in the flood plain of the Jordan River it has spread throughout the island’s wetlands.

POTAMOGETONACEAE *Potamogeton crispus L. (Curly Pondweed) Pajunen, Calhoun & Walrad 184 (CMC 17928) July 15, 1970. The species was f irst observed in St. James Harbor in the late 1960s, and has now spread to most of the inland lakes.


APIACEAE Zizia aurea (L.) Koch. (Golden Alexanders) Wujek s.n. (CMU 18577) Aug. 8, 2010. It is in the open meadows along Hannigan and McCauley roads that often remain wet except in late summer.

ASTERACEAE *Cichorium intybus L. (Chicory) Wujek s.n. (CMC 15775) July 21, 2003. A single roadside plant was originally observed at the junction of King’s Highway and McCauley Road. Two populations can be observed along the east and western ends of McCauley Road. Heliopsis helianthoides (L.) Sweet (False Sunflower) Wujek s.n. (CMC 15783) July 17, 2003. A large population can be observed in the open meadows on the north side of Hannigan Road. Prenanthes racemosa Michx. (Glaucous White Lettuce) Leuck 1579 (CMC 18008) Septem- ber 9, 1995. A small population exists behind Donegal Bay. *Tragopogon pratensis L. (Common Goat’s-beard) Wujek s.n. (CMC 15601) July 23, 2003. Small populations are distributed throughout the island’s open meadows.

BERBERIDACEAE Caulophyllum thalictroides (L.) Michx. (Blue Cohosh) Leuck s.n. (CMC 22518) July 24, 2014. Although previously reported elsewhere in the Beaver Island archipelago (Hog Is- land, Whately et al. 2005), our specimen represents its f irst record for Beaver Island itself where it grows in the forested interdunal swales west of Barney’s Lake.

BIGNONIACEAE *Catalpa speciosa Warder (Northern Catalpa) Schreiber s.n. (CMC 18011) August 1, 1969. It was planted in a front yard of a home in town along with several horse-chestnuts. Our spec- imen represents the northern-most record for Michigan.

BRASSICACEAE Alliaria petiolata (Bieb.) Cavara & Grande (Garlic Mustard) Wujek s.n. (CMC 18578) Sept. 9, 2010. To date the only specimens observed have been in the St. James Township Camp- ground. Seeds undoubtedly were brought over from the mainland by campers. It was also observed growing in the yard of one of St. James businesses.

CANNABACEAE *Cannabis sativa L. (Marijuana) Wujek s.n. July 27, 1976. Although this species is not “culti- vated” on the island, thirteen specimens were collected from a ring of young plants sur- rounding a f ire-pit at Gull Harbor where it probably had been “passed around.” Specimens collected were placed in the CMC herbarium, but owing to the herbarium’s openness in its early days, voucher specimens have disappeared. Only one 35mm slide of plants taken at the time of collection exists and has been placed in the CMC herbarium. Humulus lupulus (Hops) Wujek 125 (CMC 17127) July 19, 1996. Price (1976) indicates that this was grown at the northern end of the island by the late F. Protar, who was considered


the island’s doctor in the late 1890s – early 1900s although he had no medical training. Two additional locations are from the central and southern regions of the island where it has been collected (base of Angeline Bluff going to French Bay and at the intersection of Kings Highway and Hannigan Road). These populations more than likely originated from Protar’s original planting at his residence at the western end of Sloptown Road when he was the is- land’s “doctor” at the turn of the 20th century when he was using it for medicinal purposes

CAPRIFOLIACEAE *Lonicera morrowii A. Gray (Morrow’s Honeysuckle) Leuck 1440 (CMU 23105) September 7, 1990. Both this species and L. tartarica can be observed primarily in St. James Town- ship in disturbed areas and the fore dunes of Lake Michigan. *Lonicera tartarica L. (Tartarian Honeysuckle) Leuck 1212 (CMC 23107) July, 1971

CARYOPHYLLACEAE Dianthus ameria L. (Deptford Pink) K. Peschel s.n. (CMC 12689) July 18, 1972. It is preva- lent in open f ields throughout the island. *Gypsophila paniculata L. (Baby’s Breath) Leuck s.n. (CMC 23112) July 22, 2015. Three per- sistent plants were collected at the margin of the mown grass on the lakeshore at Whiskey Point lighthouse, St. James. A large population has also been observed on High Island (Leuck 2015, personnel observation).

CELASTRACEAE *Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb. (Oriental Bittersweet) Leuck s.n. (CMC 23116) July 27, 2015. Although previously reported from the mainland of Cheboygan County (Dorey et al. 2011), it has not been previously reported from the island. Collected along the northern end of Lake Michigan’s shoreline; weed clambering over herbaceous vegetation and small trees, north side of St. James Harbor near Whiskey Point lighthouse. Also observed older vines were observed growing along East Shore Drive among a population of Japanese knotweed (Leuck, personal observation).

CORNACEAE Cornus alternifolia L. (Alternate-leaved Dogwood) Leuck s.n. (CMC 23108) June 29, 2013. Only one population has been observed: Bonner’s Bluff above French Bay. Cornus alterni- folia represents the f ifth Cornus taxon to be collected from Beaver Island.

ELAEAGNACEAE *Elaeagnus umbellata Thumb. (Autumn-olive) Leuck 2004 (CMC 18241) July 27, 2010. It has become an aggressive invasive in the island’s meadows and forest margins.

ERICACEAE Pyrola chlorantha Sw. (Shinleaf) Roush s.n. (CMC 17396). Only one population has been ob- served: west side of East Side Drive near Conn’s Point in the mixed forest among the moss and litter.

EUPHORBIACEAE Euphorbia corollata L. (Flowering Spurge) Wujek s.n. (CMC 16949) July 19, 1996. We have observed it growing along Hannigan Road and Kings Highway at the edge of tree and shrub lines adjacent to open f ields

FABACEAE *Securigera varia (L.) Lassen (Crown-vetch) Leuck 1578 (CMC 18002) September 9, 1995. First observed on the island in the mid 1980’s (Wujek, personal observation), it has become more widely spread throughout the island on disturbed roadside areas.

JUGLANDACEAAE Juglans cinerea L. (Butternut) Leuck 2002 (CMC 18242) July 24, 2010. One approximately 65+ year old tree grows on the island. The Beaver Island tree represents the most northerly Lower Peninsula record. Juglans nigra L. (Black Walnut) Leuck & Wujek s.n. (CMC 18572) August 5, 2011. A Sin- gle tree planted near the end of the nineteenth century. This tree may rank among the top ten in the Michigan Big Tree List; accurate measurements are required.


LENTIBULARIACEAE Utricularia purpurea Walter (Purple Bladderwort) Leuck 1368 (CMC 18017) September 8, 1992. Collected only from Lake Geneserath at the junction of the lake’s north arm with the main body of the lake.

LYTHRACEAE Decodon verticillatus (L.) Ell. (Whorled/Swamp Loosestrife) Wujek-Field Botany s.n. (CMC 11859) September 13, 1980. This species is not native to the island as the late Dr. M. Hohn transplanted three plants from Lake St. Clair in southeastern Michigan to Green’s Lake in the early 1970’s. These plants have since increased to over 40 individuals, but as of this date not expanded to other areas on the island. *Lythrum salicaria L. (Purple Loosestrife) Wujek s.n. (CMC 18577) Aug. 8, 2010. Many is- landers know of the invasive nature of this plant; thus, as a result, as soon as a plant is ob- served, it is pulled or sprayed with an appropriate herbicide. Most recently observed grow- ing along King’s Highway between McCauley and Sloptown roads (Leuck, personal observation)

OROBANCHACEAE Conopholis americana (L.) Wallr. (Squaw-root) Wujek 69 (CMC 18007) July 27, 1977. Com- mon on the roots of mature red oaks at Green’s Lake.

OXALIDACEAE Oxalis acetosella L. (Northern Wood-sorrel, Shamrock) Wujek s.n. (CMC 15998) July 19, 2003. This species has been found growing in only one location, along Iron Ore Creek at the southern end of the island.

PENTHORACEAE Penthorum sedoides L. (Ditch Stonecrop) Wujek s.n. (CMC 18013) July 28, 1977. Frequently growing along the shores of the Jordan River and Iron Ore Creek.

PLANTAGINACEAE Penstemon digitalis Nutt. (Foxglove Beard-tongue) Wujek s.n. (CMU 15652) July 19, 2003. Only three very small populations have ever been observed on the island, the largest oc- curring in the f ield on the Grasmick’s family property on McCauley Road. Plantago rugelii Decne. (Rugel’s Plantain) Wujek s.n. (CMC 18575) Aug. 1, 2011. Observed in disturbed areas along road and trails with the largest population on the southern side of McCauley Road.

POLYGONACEAE *Fallopia japonica (Houtt) Ronse Decr. (Japanese Knotweed) Leuck 2003 (CMC 18244) July 25, 2010. Two populations presently exist on the island as other populations have been destroyed.

ROSACEAE Potentilla simplex Michx. Rousch (Common Cinquefoil) Wujek s.n. (CMC 17481) July 12, 1984. Common in dry open sandy forests, roadsides, and sandy barren ground.

SALICACEAE Populus deltoides Marsh. (Cottonwood) Wujek-Field Botany 293 (CMC 18005) August 5, 1977. It grows scattered throughout the island. *Populus nigra L. (Lombardy Popular) Wujek-Field Botany 288 (CMC 18003) August 5, 1977. It is grown as a planting on several properties at the southern end of the island. In ad- dition, a row grows at the corner of King’s Highway and Pogenog Road.

SAPINDACEAE Acer negundo L. (Box-elder) BC s.n. (CMC 18010) June 28, 1967. We found it growing in only one location in a St. James vacant lot. *Acer platanoides L. (Norway Maple) Leuck 2006 (CMC 18238) July 27, 2010. Planted as a shade tree throughout the town of St. James. *Aesculus hippocastanum L. (Horse-chestnut) K. Peschel s.n. (CMC 11589) July 1972. A few trees grow on the island, one at the lighthouse at the southern end of the island, and another


on Protar’s property, now a museum site. Several trees have also been planted in the town of St. James.

SOLANACEAE Solanum carolinense L. (Horse-Nettle) Wujek s.n. (CMC 23123) September 24, 2013. Along Hannigan Road scattered among the Physalis heterophylla population.

VITACEAE Parthenocissus quinquefolia (L.) Planchon (Virginia Creeper) Basil & Berg s.n. (CMU 23114) August 7, 1975. Found growing at many sites in St. James.


An updated list of the previous 763 plants occurring on the Beaver Island Archipelago (722 for the island itself and 41 from the surrounding islands) can be accessed at MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE (2011), listing the vascular flora not only of Beaver Island itself, but also of the Beaver Island Archipelago as a whole. Eight hundred twelve vascular plant species (including those in this study) representing 394 genera and 116 families have now been reported for the Beaver Island Archipelago. Forty-one of the species have been reported only from the surrounding islands. Of the 812 species, 763 are angiosperms or flow- ering plants (272 monocots, 491 dicots), 12 are gymnosperms, and 37 are pteri- dophytes (31 ferns, 16 fern allies). The percentage of exotic species among the 50 newly reported species, (20 species, representing 40%), is larger than the ap- proximately 33% exotics in the total island flora.

Although the island is too large for a meaningful Floristic Quality Index (Her- man et al. 1996) to be calculated, the native plants have an average coeff icient of conservatism (C) of 5.5. This is less than the 6.5 average value reported for the entire native flora of Michigan (Herman et al. 1996). The lower value for Beaver Island is likely because 82 of the Beaver Island species have a C-value of 10, and more than half have a C-value of f ive or lower (599/820; 73%). On nearby Hog Island, only 33 species have a C-value of 10, and over half of the species (187/293; 63.8%) have a C-value of six or greater (Whately et al. 2005).

The exotic form of Phragmites, P. australis subsp. australis, has invaded sev- eral areas of the Island along the Lake Michigan shoreline and is being con- trolled via hand-spraying. The exotic forms on the surrounding islands of High and Hat are also being treated similarly.

Conspicuously absent from Beaver Island are many of the species that occur on the lower and upper peninsulas, particularly the more southern species in- cluding woody plants such as Carya, Ceanothus, Quercus (other than Q. rubra), Toxicodendron vernix, Hudsonia tomentosa, and herbaceous plants such as Apocynum androsaemifolium, Viola sororia, and Verbena bracteata. Even plants on the nearby Fox Islands and the counties directly east on the mainland such as Geranium maculatum, Osmorhiza longistylis, Prenanthes alba, and Ribes cynos- bati are absent from Beaver Island.

The largest families reported from the Beaver Island Archipelago are Cyper- aceae (89 species), Asteraceae (70 species), Poaceae (54 species) and Rosaceae (41 species). The largest genera are Carex (64 species), Potamogeton (18


species), Juncus (11 species), Viola (10 species), and two genera, Aster and Eq- uisetum, with nine species each.

One hundred thirty-one of the island’s species are considered exotic (15.8% of the flora). This is higher than the 12.4% on the nearby uninhabited Hog Island (Whately et al. 2005). The Asteraceae contains the greatest number of exotic species (21) followed by the Fabaceae (12). However, on a percentage basis of those families having four or more taxa on the archipelago, the Fabaceae have 86% (12/14) exotic taxa, followed closely by the Brassicaceae 84% (16/19), and then the Caryophyllaceae at 64% (9/14).


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