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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Poison Suckleya - Suckleya suckleyana

Status Under Review
Native Species

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

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 3

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Reported from one collection site along the Yellowstone River in Dawson County from 2000 and three historical collections in eastern Montana. Very little is information known about these locations or the distribution, abundance and threats to the species in Montana. Additional information is needed to accurately evaluate the species' conservation priority and needs.
General Description
Monoecious annual. Stems branched, succulent, prostrate to ascending, 10–40 cm. Leaves farinose when young, long-petiolate; the blade rhombic to orbicular, 1–3 cm long with crenate margins. Inflorescence axillary flower clusters. Flowers unisexual. Male flowers a 4-parted calyx with 4 stamens. Female flowers enclosed in 2 partially united, hirsute bracts; calyx absent. Fruit enclosed by swollen, triangular bracts, 4–6 mm long with narrow, crenulate wing margins and divergent tips; seed smooth, brown, ca. 3 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Flowering in July-August.

Diagnostic Characteristics
This is the only species in its genus. It most resembles some of the prostrate, annual species of Atriplex, but differs by having pistillate bracts which are strongly compressed.

Species Range

Range Comments
In MT only from Petroleum, Valley, Roosevelt and Dawson counties; a High Plains endemic from AB and SK south to TX and NM (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX; Gelin 2003 in Fl. N. Amer. Vo. 4).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 13

(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)

Drying mud along ponds and streams, and in disturbed, often alkaline soil on the plains.

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Chu, G.L., H.C. Stutz, and S.C. Sanderson. 1991. Morphology and taxonomic position of Suckleya suckleyana (Chenopodiaceae). American Journal of Botany 78(1):63-68.
    • 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:
Poison Suckleya — Suckleya suckleyana.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from