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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Sagebrush Bluebells - Mertensia oblongifolia
Other Names:  Mertensia perplexa, Mertensia viridis

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 4

External Links

General Description
Plants with a branched caudex. Stems ascending to erect, 5–30 cm. Herbage glabrous to strigose, upper leaves often ciliate. Leaves basal and cauline; blades lanceolate to oblanceolate, 1–8 cm long; lateral veins obscure. Flowers: calyx 4–7 mm long, divided nearly to the base; corolla 13–17 mm long; tube glabrous within, 1.2 to 2 times as long as the limb; filaments ca. as long as the anthers, inserted at the fornices; style barely longer than the anthers. Nutlets 2–3 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

This description from Lesica (2012) is sensu stricto, given that he also recognizes as distinct the species M. perplexa and M. viridis.

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
WA to MT south to NV, UT and WY (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 265

(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)

Grasslands, meadows, outcrops, woodlands, open forest; valleys to alpine (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Husby, P.O. 1982. Effects of grazing on vegetation in the Artemisia tridentata-Festuca idahoensis habitat type. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 76 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Sagebrush Bluebells — Mertensia oblongifolia.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from