Elmer's Ragwort - Senecio elmeri
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.
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.
Though vegetatively very similar to Senecio amplectens, the heads of S. elmeri are more numerous and smaller in size than S. amplectens.
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:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Rocky, alpine slopes
Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
- Commonly Associated with these Ecological Systems
The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this species or genera where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus bifarius
, Bombus flavifrons
, Bombus frigidus
, Bombus huntii
, Bombus melanopygus
, Bombus mixtus
, Bombus sylvicola
, Bombus occidentalis
, Bombus insularis
, Bombus suckleyi
, Bombus flavidus
, and Bombus kirbiellus
(Schmitt 1980, Thorp et al. 1983, Mayer et al. 2000, Wilson et al. 2010, Pyke et al. 2012, Koch et al. 2012, Williams et al. 2014).
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Koch, J., J. Strange, and P. Williams. 2012. Bumble bees of the western United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 143 p.
- Mayer, D.F., E.R. Miliczky, B.F. Finnigan, and C.A. Johnson. 2000. The bee fauna (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of southeastern Washington. Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia 97: 25-31.
- Pyke, G.H., D.W. Inouye, and J.D. Thomson. 2012. Local geographic distributions of bumble bees near Crested Butte, Colorado: competition and community structure revisited. Environmental Entomology 41(6): 1332-1349.
- Schmitt, J. 1980. Pollinator foraging behavior and gene dispersal in Senecio (Compositae). Evolution 34: 934-943.
- Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
- Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ. Princeton University Press.
- Wilson, J.S., L.E. Wilson, L.D. Loftis, and T. Griswold. 2010. The montane bee fauna of north central Washington, USA, with floral associations. Western North American Naturalist 70(2): 198-207.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.