Chenopodium capitatum (L.) Ambrosi
Common Name: STRAWBERRY BLITE
Coefficient of Conservatism: 5
Coefficient of Wetness: 5
Wetness Index: UPL
Physiognomy: Nt A-Forb

Chenopodium capitatum inflorescence A. A. Reznicek inflorescence

Characteristic, along with Corydalis aurea, Capnoides sempervirens, and Leucophysalis grandiflora, of sandy or gravelly (often very calcareous) sites one or two years after disturbance (e.g., bulldozing) and dying out (if disturbance is not maintained) within another 2 or 3 years. Besides growing in dumps, gravel pits, clearings, and newly graded roadsides (all basically in forested areas), strawberry blite is occasionally found on gravelly shores, limestone ledges, burned-over ridges, dry burned peat bogs, and other such disturbed sites.

A most distinctive native plant, with its striking, fleshy bright red fruiting clusters; found essentially throughout the state but becoming very rare southward. Almost all records from the southern half of the Lower Peninsula are more than a century old.

One 1935 Washtenaw Co. collection (Hermann 6858, F, MICH), from disturbed areas at the University of Michigan Botanical Gardens appears to be the western Chenopodium capitatum var. parvicapitatum S. L. Welsh (C. overi Aellen). This differs in having the fruit clusters of the inflorescence (glomerules) only ca. 3-5 mm diam. in fruit, not fleshy and often not red, and leaf blades cuneate to truncate at base with margins less toothed or entire. Typical C. capitatum has much larger fleshy red fruit clusters in the inflorescence and leaf blades truncate to cordate at base with the margins usually strongly toothed. It surely was an accidental waif from the west.

Locations

Alcona County
Alger County
Alpena County
Baraga County
Benzie County
Charlevoix County
    Including Beaver Island
Cheboygan County
Chippewa County
    Including Drummond Island
Crawford County
Delta County
Dickinson County
Eaton County
Emmet County
Grand Traverse County
Gratiot County
Houghton County
Ingham County
Ionia County
Isabella County
Kent County
Keweenaw County
    Including Isle Royale
Leelanau County
    Including Fox Islands
    Including Manitou Islands
Luce County
Mackinac County
    Including Bois Blanc, Mackinac, Round Islands
Macomb County
Marquette County
Mecosta County
Menominee County
Missaukee County
Montmorency County
Oakland County
Ontonagon County
Otsego County
Ottawa County
Presque Isle County
Sanilac County
Schoolcraft County
St. Clair County
Van Buren County
Washtenaw County

Citation:

MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. July 16, 2018. https://michiganflora.net/species.aspx?id=67.