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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Columbia Locoweed - Oxytropis campestris var. columbiana
Other Names:  Oxytropis columbiana

Species of Concern

Global Rank: G5T2
State Rank: S1
* (see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
MNPS Threat Rank: 1
C-value:

External Links






State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Originally known in Montana from six occurrences all around Flathead Lake. However, two of the occurrences are now extirpated. Private lands, which are subject to development in the area, play a vital role in maintaining viable populations of this plant in Montana.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Columbia Locoweed (Oxytropis campestris var. columbiana) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 10/30/2012
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    Score3 - Vey Small: Generally <2,000 individuals.

    CommentApproximately 1,000 individuals documented. Current population data are needed for most populations.

    Range Extent

    Score3 - Local Endemic or Very Small Montana Range: Generally restricted to an area <10,000 sq. miles (equivalent to the combined area of Phillips and Valley Counties) or <6 Sub-basins (4th code watersheds) Range-wide OR limited to one Sub-basin in Montana

    Area of Occupancy

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

    Environmental Specificity

    Score2 - High: Species is restricted to a highly specialized and limited habitat and is typically dependent upon unaltered, high-quality habitat (C Values of 8-10).

    Trends

    Score1-3 - Declining: Species is likely declining though the magnitude of declines is uncertain. Declines may be based upon range extent and/or occupied area in the recent past (approximately 30 years).

    CommentAvailable data appear to show that populations have declined in size and extent though additional monitoring data are needed to verify this potential trend.

    Threats

    Score2-3 - High to Very High.

    CommentHydrologic alteration, shoreline development, recreation activities and invasive species pose threats to the populations.

    Intrinsic Vulnerability

    Score0-1 - Low to Moderate Vulnerability.

    Raw Conservation Status Score

    Score 14 to 18 total points scored out of a possible 19.

 
General Description
Columbia Crazyweed is a clump-forming perennial with leafless flower stalks that are 5-30 cm tall, and arising from a branched rootstock. The basal leaves are pinnately compound with mostly less than 17 leaflets, and have membranous stipules that are attached to the petiole for at least 1/2 their length. The greenish to grayish foliage is sparsely to densely covered by hairs. The flower stalks are slightly shorter to much longer than the leaves and bear 5-40 flowers in a spike-like inflorescence. The pea-like flowers are 10-20 mm long. The greenish tubular calyx is covered by grayish to blackish hairs and has five pointed teeth. The white corolla consists of an upper banner petal, two wing petals at the side, and a lower keel petal with purple spots. The pod is two-celled, several seeded, membranous, and 1-2.5 cm long

Phenology
Flowering in late May - early June; fruiting in late June - early July.

Diagnostic Characteristics
OXYTROPIS CAMPESTRIS is most similar to O. SERICEA in having whitish corollas, stipules attached to petioles for most their length, foliage not glandular, leaflets 2-ranked, and inflorescences with more than 4 flowers. OXYTROPIS SERICEA differs by having pods which become bony rather than membranous, and by somewhat larger flowers, averaging 15 mm long. Other subspecies of OXYTROPIS CAMPESTRIS differ by having cream colored flowers with lower petals that lack purple spots, and by leaves mostly with more than 17 leaflets.

Species Range
Present
 


Range Comments
Regional endemic, northeastern Washington and northwestern Montana. Known in Washington from gravelly banks along the Columbia River from the confluence with the Spokane River north to near the Canadian border. Also known form similar habitat along the shores of Flthead Lake, Montana. It is believed that most populations in Washington were destroyed by construction of Grand Coulee Dam. However, populations along the Columbia River may still occur near the Canadian border. Until the mid 1980's only one or two populations were known from around Flathead Lake. Elisens identified Oxytropis populations along the North Folk of the Flathead River as O. columbiana (Peter Lesica's letter to D.R. Harm, 1992).

Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 17

(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
Gravelly shoreline along major lakes and rivers.

References
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Citation for data on this website:
Columbia Locoweed — Oxytropis campestris var. columbiana.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from