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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Dwarf Saw-wort - Saussurea densa
Other Names:  Saussurea nuda var. densa

Species of Concern

Global Rank: G4Q
State Rank: S2S3
* (see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
MNPS Threat Rank: 3
C-value:

External Links






State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Known from a handfull of small occurrences along the Rocky Mountain Front, primarily in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. Limited data are available for most occurrences leading to the uncertainty in the species' rank.
 
General Description
Dwarf Saw-wort is a dwarf perennial herb that is 5-20 cm high and arising from a woody rootstock. The lance-shaped leaf blades are coarsely toothed, up to 8 cm long, and have a broad petiole. The alternate leaves are crowded on the stem, reduced, and lacking petioles towards the tops. The herbage is covered with long, tangled hairs when young but becomes glabrous with age. The purple flowering heads are borne in a dense cluster subtended by leaves at the top of the stem. The narrow involucral bracts of the heads are 11-15 mm long. All of the flowers are tubular (disk flowers); ray flowers are absent. The achene has a pappus on top.

Our plants are variety densa (Hook.) Hulten.

Phenology
Flowering in July-early August, fruiting in late August.

Diagnostic Characteristics
The clustered, purple, rayless flowering heads, together with the rocky, high elevation habitat, are distinctive. The similar S. weberi occurs in southwest Montana mountains and has broad involucral bracts with rounded tips.

Species Range
Present
 


Range Comments
AK to MT; Asia (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 16

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

 

(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



Habitat
Calcareous soil of talus slopes and rocky, open slopes in the alpine zone.

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

References
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Citation for data on this website:
Dwarf Saw-wort — Saussurea densa.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from