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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Wedge-leaf Saltbush - Atriplex truncata

Species of Concern

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S3
* (see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
MNPS Threat Rank: 3
C-value: 5

External Links






State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Known from two extent occurrences; one in the Centennial Valley and the other near Warm Springs. Also, known historically from four collections in the western half of the state. Additional population and trend data are needed to better evaluate the species' vulnerability.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Wedge-leaf Saltbush (Atriplex truncata) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 03/27/2012
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    Score1-2 - Small to Moderate. Population size is imprecisely known but is believed to be >2,000 individuals and <100,000 individuals.

    CommentPopulation estimates are imprecise but appear to be at least several thousand plants.

    Range Extent

    Score1 - Peripheral, Disjunct or Sporadic Distribution in MT: Widespread species that is peripheral, disjunct or sporadically distributed within MT such that it occurs in <5% of the state (<7,500 sq. miles or the combined area of Beaverhead and Ravalli Counties) or is restricted to 4-5 sub-basins.

    CommentPeripheral and sparsely distributed in western Montana.

    Area of Occupancy

    Score3 - Very Low: Generally occurring in 3 or fewer Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s).

    CommentRecently documented/surveyed sites are clustered in two locations in Deerlodge and Beaverhead Counties. Other documented locations in Montana are based upon historical collections. Additional extant occurrences may exist in other watersheds.

    Environmental Specificity

    Score1 - Moderate: Species is restricted to a specific habitat that is more widely distributed or to several restricted habitats and is typically dependent upon relatively unaltered, good-quality habitat (C Values of 5-7).

    Trends

    Score0-2 - Stable to Moderate Declines:

    CommentTrends data are lacking though it does not appear likely that severe declines have occurred in the recent past.

    Threats

    Score0-1 - Low to Medium.

    CommentThreats to the species appear to be minimal.

    Intrinsic Vulnerability

    Score0-1 - Low to Moderate Vulnerability.

    Raw Conservation Status Score

    Score 6 to 11 total points scored out of a possible 19.

 
General Description
Wedge-leaved Saltbush is an annual with simple to branched stems that are 10-100 cm tall. The alternate, wedge-shaped to oval leaves, 15-40 mm long, have entire margins and short petioles. The foliage is sparsely to densely covered with grayish scales that rub off. Small, unisexual flowers are borne in clusters in leaf axils. Male flowers lack petals but have a 5-parted calyx. Female flowers lack both petals and sepals and are subtended by 2 wedge-shaped bracts which are 2-3 mm long in fruit and which have entire margins but 2-3 low teeth across the top.

Phenology
Flowering and fruiting in August-September.

Diagnostic Characteristics
A. truncata is similar to A. argentea, A. powellii, and A. rosea, but can be distinguished by the wedge-shaped flower bracts that are 3 mm long or less with smooth faces and a wavy or toothed upper margin.

Species Range
Present
 


Range Comments
In MT from only a few counties in the western third; BC and SK south to CA, NV, UT, and CO (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX; Welsh 2003 in Fl. N. Amer. Vol. 4).

Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 11

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

 

(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



Habitat
Vernally moist, alkaline soil around ponds and along streams in the valleys.

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

References
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • citation currently unavailable in central databases; housed at Heritage program
    • citation currently unavailable in central databases; housed at Heritage program
    • citation currently unavailable in central databases; housed at Heritage program
    • citation currently unavailable in central databases; housed at Heritage program
    • citation currently unavailable in central databases; housed at Heritage program
    • 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:
Wedge-leaf Saltbush — Atriplex truncata.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from