Sagebrush Bluebells - Mertensia oblongifolia
Mertensia perplexa, Mertensia viridis
MNPS Threat Rank
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
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:
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Map Help and Descriptions
(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus vagans
, Bombus bifarius
, Bombus centralis
, Bombus flavifrons
, Bombus frigidus
, Bombus huntii
, Bombus melanopygus
, Bombus mixtus
, Bombus rufocinctus
, Bombus sylvicola
, Bombus occidentalis
, Bombus pensylvanicus
, Bombus bimaculatus
, Bombus griseocollis
, Bombus insularis
, and Bombus kirbiellus
(Macior 1974, Bauer 1983, Thorp et al. 1983, Mayer et al. 2000, Colla and Dumesh 2010, Colla et al. 2011, Koch et al. 2012, Pyke et al. 2012, Miller-Struttmann and Galen 2014, Williams et al. 2014).
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Bauer, P.J. 1983. Bumblebee pollination relationships on the Beartooth Plateau tundra of Southern Montana. American Journal of Botany. 70(1): 134-144.
- Colla, S., L. Richardson, and P. Williams. 2011. Bumble bees of the eastern United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 103 p.
- Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141: 39-68.
- Koch, J., J. Strange, and P. Williams. 2012. Bumble bees of the western United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 143 p.
- Macior, L.M. 1974. Pollination ecology of the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Melanderia 15: 1-59.
- 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.
- Miller-Struttmann, N.E. and C. Galen. 2014. High-altitude multi-taskers: bumble bee food plant use broadens along an altitudinal productivity gradient. Oecologia 176:1033-1045.
- 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.
- 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.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
Do you know of a citation we're missing?
- Cope, M.G. 1992. Distribution, habitat selection and survival of transplanted Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus) in the Tobacco Valley, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 60 p.
- Dale, D. 1973. Effects of trail use under forests in the Madison Range, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 96 pp.
- Eversman, S.T. 1968. A comparison of plant communities and substrates of avalanche and non-avalanche areas in south central Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 39 pp.
- Fritzen, D.E. 1995. Ecology and behavior of Mule Deer on the Rosebud Coal Mine, Montana. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 143 p.
- Fultz, J.E. 2005. Effects of shelterwood management on flower-visiting insects and their floral resources. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 163 p.
- Haglund, B.M. 1972. Ecological effects of weather modification, Bangtail Ridge, Bridger Range, Montana: relationships of pocket gophers (Thomomys talpoides) to time of snow melt. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 26 p.
- 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.
- Jones, W. W. 1901. Preliminary flora of Gallatin County. M.S. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State College. 78 pp.
- Joslin, G.J. 1975. Behavior and environmental selection by Elk (Cervus canadensis nelsoni) during surrmer and fall in the First and Second Yellow Mule drainages, Madison County, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University, Bozeman. 65 p.
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- Martinka, R.R. 1970. Structural characteristics and ecological relationships of male blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus (Say)) territories in southwestern Montana. Ph.D Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 73 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.
- Seipel, T.F. 2006. Plant species diversity in the sagebrush steppe of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 87 p.
- Simanonok, M. 2018. Plant-pollinator network assembly after wildfire. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 123 p.
- Steerey, W. F. 1979. Distribution, range use and population characteristics of Mule Deer associated with the Schafer Creek winter range, Bridger Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 119 p.
- Stewart, S.T. 1975. Ecology of the West Rosebud and Stillwater bighorn sheep herds, Beartooth Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 130 p.
- Williams, K.L. 2012. Classification of the grasslands, shrublands, woodlands, forests and alpine vegetation associations of the Custer National Forest portion of the Beartooth Mountains in southcentral Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 376 p.