By The Old House Web


The Protection Law was created for the protection of all rare wildflowers. This law states that no person shall cut, remove, transport or offer for sale certain plants without satisfactory proof of ownership of the land upon which they were grown or possession of a bill of sale. Unfortunately, this law does not protect all species of wildflowers. All of the species that are becoming rare in many areas of the state are vulnerable despite this law. Its major fault lies in that it doesn't prevent an owner from destroying plants on his own land, although it does apply to all state owned land.

Wildflowers, once covering the entire country, are now scarce. Because plants are thriving in one location, it seems difficult to believe that they are not common everywhere. In actuality, most varieties are becoming scarce in the vicinity of larger towns and cities because their habitats are being destroyed by society. Due to the specific growth requirements necessary for native plants, a change in their habitat has a direct affect on their survival. For this reason, wildflowers will often die when they are transplanted into a different environment. Other changes in environment, caused by weed killers and cultivation practices along highways and roadsides, destroy the native plants along with the weeds. Too much picking of flowers causes plants to become scarce, preventing them from forming seeds and cutting down on the number of new plants coming up the following year. The wildflowers beauty can be achieve through growth by seed or propagation by division, rather than by collection from their native habitat.

The following plants are protected by law from picking:

Plant Habitat -------------------------------------------------------- Trailing Arbutus Dry, northen woods Birdfoot Violet Dry fields and openings Climbing Bittersweet Old fencerows, southern counties Club Moss (Ground Pine) Northern woods and clearings

Flowering Dogwood Woods (southern counties) Northern American Lotus Shallow water Michigan Holly (Winter- berry) Swamps Pipsissewa (Prince's Pine) Northern, dry woods Ladyslippers and Orchids (all genera & species) Damp woods, swamps Trillium (all species) Open woods Gentian (all species) Wet meadows and marshes Christmas trees Evergreen boughs All trees All shrubs All vines

The following flowers are not protected by law, but should NOT be picked, due to rarity.

Plant Habitat -------------------------------------------------------- Trout Lily Moist woods Wild Columbine Woodland clearings Cardinal Flower Wet sites, stream and lake shores Indian Pipe Moist woods, shady sites Jack-in-the-Pulpit Moist woods Pitcher Plant Bogs, open or little shade Philadelphia Lily (Wood Lily) Open woods and clearings Twin Flower Cool, northern woods Clintonia Woods False Mitrewort Rich woodlands Starflower Moist, northern woods Alumroot Loamy woods, shaded, rocky slopes Shooting Star Open woods and meadows Shinleaf Woods and clearings Great Lobelia Lowland woods and swamps Bloodroot Woods (southern Michigan) Swamp milkweed Swamps, marshes, shores Butterfly Weed Dry, open land, roadsides Puccoon Dry sandy prairies, roadsides


"Protecting Wildflowers" By Nancy J. Butler Weed 'em and Reap, April-May 1985 MSU Dept. of Agriculture

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