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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Elmer's Ragwort - Senecio elmeri
Other Names:  Senecio spribillei

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S2
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Rare in the state. Known from only one high-elevation site in the Cabinet Mountains. Its location in a designated wilderness and its high-elevation habitat should prevent most detrimental imapcts to the species' viability in Montana.
General Description
Fibrous-rooted with a branched caudex. Stems erect to ascending, simple, 10–20 cm. Herbage glabrate to weakly villous. Leaves: basal conspicuously petiolate; blades oblanceolate to ovate, 2–4 cm long, dentate or serrate; lower cauline often larger than basal. Inflorescence cymiform, of 2 to 9 nodding to erect heads. Heads radiate; involucres 7–12 mm high; phyllaries ca. 13, glabrous, often black-tipped. Rays ca. 8; ligules 7–12 mm long. Disk corollas 8–9 mm long. Achenes glabrous (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

The first Montana collection of this entity was erroneously described as a new species (Senecio spribillei) in 2002. Additional collections from the type locality and further investigation show that Montana material is conspecific with Senecio elmeri.

Flowering likely begins in late July-early August with fruits developing from mid-August into September.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Though vegetatively very similar to Senecio amplectens, the heads of S. elmeri are more numerous and smaller in size than S. amplectens.

Species Range

Range Comments
Endemic to southern BC and WA, disjunct in Lincoln County, MT (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 2

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



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

Rocky, alpine slopes

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

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Citation for data on this website:
Elmer's Ragwort — Senecio elmeri.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from