Many-stem Goldenweed - Stenotus multicaulis
Oonopsis multicaulis, Haplopappus multicaulis
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Though restricted in distribution in Montana to Carter County, it is common in some habitats, including along some roadsides at least on BLM lands. No apparent, substantial threats to the species' viability in the state exist.
Many-stemmed goldenweed is a rhizomatous perennial herb with numerous stems, 5-10 cm (2-4 in) high, arising from a profusely branched, woody rootcrown. The alternate, narrowly spoon-shaped leaves, 2-8 cm (1-3 in) long, become smaller upward. Foliage is covered with soft hair early in the year but is glabrous later on. 1-4 flower heads form an open, terminal inflorescence. The vase-shaped heads have ca. 13 overlapping, narrowly elliptic involucral bracts, 7-10 mm high; 6-8 yellow ray flowers, 5-8 mm long; and ca. 18 yellow disk flowers. The seeds have few, thin, stiff bristles on top (pappus).
Whereas Lesica (2012) maintains there is not strong support to segregate this speices into the genus Oonopsis, Dr. Gregory Brown (University of WY, pers. comm.), who is monographing the genus, recognizes Oonopsis.
This species could be confused with species of Senecio, but it has fewer involucral bracts. The small stature, multiple heads per stem, and narrow leaves up to 5 mm wide separate this species from other Haplopappus. A hand lens or microscope and technical key are essential for determination.
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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Sparsely-vegetated, shale-derived soil of grasslands or sagebrush steppe on the plains.
- 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.