Round-headed Cryptantha - Cryptantha humilis
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Known from 3 historical collections in the state, including a 1955 collection west of Dillon in the Grasshopper Valley, a 1952 collection 3 miles south of Lima and an undated collection from the Yellowstone Valley in Park County.
Cryptantha humilis is an herbaceous perennial which forms clumps of 5-30 cm high stems that arise from a branched rootcrown. The clustered basal leaves are narrowly spoon-shaped, 1-6 cm long, and covered with straight hairs that arise from swellings on the surface. Stem leaves are narrower and somewhat shorter. Flowers are borne on coiled stalks in the axils of the uppermost leaves, or bracts. These stalks expand, become slender, and spread outward as the fruits mature. The white flowers have a short, tubular corolla, which is 2-4 mm long and has 5 spreading lobes. The small crests, or fornices, at the base of the petal lobes are yellow. The 5-lobed calyx is hairy and becomes 6-13 mm long in fruit. The 4 lance-shaped nutlets are 3-5 mm long, 2-3 mm wide, and are bumpy or wrinkled, more so on the outside face. The style is less than 1.5 mm longer than the mature nutlets.
Flowering in May.
Perennial species of Cryptantha are very difficult to distinguish; a hand lens or microscope is essential. Crypantha celosioides has basal leaves that are more broadly spoon-shaped, C. spiculifera style is 1.5-6 mm higher than the mature nutlets, andC. sobolifera has nutlets that are smooth on the back faces.
Eastern portions of OR and CA through UT, southern ID, western CO, UT and AZ.
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 soil of sagebrush steppe and woodlands in the valleys.
Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Culver, D.R. 1994. Floristic analysis of the Centennial Region, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 199 pp.
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- 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.