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Montana Field Guides

James Stitchwort - Stellaria jamesiana
Other Names:  Pseudostellaria jamesiana

Status Under Review
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S2S3
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Peripheral in southern Montana, where it is at the northern edge of its range. Documented from a few locations, three of which were reported prior to 1980. Very little data are available for these locations and additional information is needed to more precisely review its conservation status.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    James Stitchwort (Stellaria jamesiana) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 05/28/2013
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    Score2-3 - Very Small to Small: Population size is imprecisely known but is believed to be <10,000 individuals.

    CommentPopulation size unknown, though likely to be in the very small to small range based upon the limited data available. Additional data are needed.

    Range Extent

    Score2-3 - Local or Regional Endemic: Species has a small to very small range, though its distribution is either imprecisely documented or information to precisely categorize it was lacking at the time its status was reviewed.

    CommentSmall Montana Range. Documented from 2 sub-watersheds in Montana.

    Area of Occupancy

    Score2 - Low: Generally occurring in 4-10 Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s).

    CommentMay occupy a larger area than the available data indicate.

    Environmental Specificity

    Score0-1 - Low to Moderate.

    CommentDoes not appear to be a habitat specialist.


    ScoreNA - Rank factor not assessed.

    CommentTrends are unknown.


    ScoreNA - Rank factor not assessed.

    CommentThreats to the species' viability are unknown though are likely low.

    Intrinsic Vulnerability

    Score0-1 - Low to Moderate Vulnerability.

    CommentVulnerability uncertain.

    Raw Conservation Status Score

    Score 7 to 10 total points scored out of a possible 13 (Rarity factors only).

General Description
James Stitchwort is a rhizomatous, perennial herb with weak stems that can easily be detached from the rhizomes; the stems are erect or ascending, 1.5-5 dm tall, and 4-angled with swollen nodes. The upper stem, inflorescence, and often the leaves have small, glandular-tipped hairs, while the lower stems are usually hairless. The leaves are opposite, stalkless, lance-shaped with long tapering, pointed tips, and 2-15 cm long by 1.5-20 mm wide. There are few to many flowers borne on diffuse branches arising from leaf axils and at the top of the plant. The flowers have five pointed sepals which are 3.5-6 mm long, green with pale, membranous margins, and covered with glandular hairs. Each flower also has 5 bilobed, white petals that are about twice as long as the sepals, usually 10 stamens, and a single pistil with usually 3 style branches. The mature fruit is shorter than the sepals and opens by 3 valves.

Collected in flower in July.

Diagnostic Characteristics
S. JAMESIANA is distinguished from other Montana STELLARIA by its 3-valved capsule (others are 6-valved), and by the combination of its densely glandular hairy inflorescence and its leaves which are greater than 4 times as long as they are wide. Differences in the reproductive structure are great enough that this species has been assigned its own genus (PSEUDOSTELLARIA), and it will not key out in many floras using the character of a 3-valved capsule.

Species Range

Range Comments
Idaho and Wyoming to Texas, New Mexico, and California.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 9

(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)

Woodland slopes in foothill or montane zones.

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Culver, D.R. 1993. Sensitive plant species inventory in the Centennial Valley, Beaverhead County, Montana. Unpublished report to the Butte District, Bureau of Land Management. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, 42 pp. plus appendices.
    • Heidel, B. L. 1996. Noteworthy collections - Montana. Madrono 43(3):436-440.
    • 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:
James Stitchwort — Stellaria jamesiana.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from