Sword Townsend-daisy - Townsendia spathulata
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Sword townsendia occurs in limestone areas of southwest and south-central Montana. Overall, The species' viability in the state does not appear to be at risk due in part to its relatively widespread distribution and its overall abundance. The population in the Limestone Hills in Broadwater County may be negatively impacted by proposed mine expansion and military activities.
Sword Townsendia is a perennial 1-5 cm tall with a stemless crown surmounting a taproot. Leaves are spathulate, 1-1.5 cm long and 2-4 cm wide, covered by dense, long hairs which give them a woolly appearance, and tightly clustered in a rosette. 1-many flower heads are sessile, or solitary on leafless stalks. Ray flowers are 1-2 cm long, with a pale off-white color.
Flowering early May to late June. Plants flower and disperse fruit in a two-four week period.
Distinguished from other Townsendia species in our area by pale, off-white rays and spathulate leaves. This name has been misapplied in the past to include T. condensata.
Bighorn, Park, Fremont, Sweetwater, Natrona Counties, Wyoming; and mountainous portions of southern Montana.
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)
Open, rocky, limestone-derived soils of slopes and windswept ridgetops in the foothills to the alpine; often in mountain mahogany woodlands and cushion plant grasslands.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Heidel, B.L. 1994. Status review of sword townsendia (Townsendia spathulata) and Limestone Hills survey, Broadwater County, Montana. Unpublished report to the Bureau of Land Management, Butte District. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, Montana. 14 pp. plus appendices.
- Lesica, P. and P.L. Achuff. 1992. Distribution of vascular plant species of special concern and limited distribution in the Pryor Mountain desert, Carbon County, Montana. Unpublished report to the Bureau of Land Management. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 105 pp.
- Lesica, P., K. Lackschewitz, J. Pierce, S. Gregory and M. O'Brien. 1986. Noteworthy collections: Montana. Madrono 33:310-312.
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- Mincemoyer, S. 2005. Surveys of significant plant resources and related vegetation types for the Butte Office of the Bureau of Land Management. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 11 pp + appendices.
- Quire, R.L. 2013. The sagebrush steppe of Montana and southeastern Idaho shows evidence of high native plant diversity, stability, and resistance to the detrimental effects of nonnative plant species. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 124 p.