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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Parry's Locoweed - Oxytropis parryi

Species of Concern
Native Species

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

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank: 3
C-value: 10

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Rare in Montana where it is known only from a few occurrences in the southwestern portion of the state. However, the species high-elevation habitat and its viability do not appear to be at significant risk at the current time.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Parry's Locoweed (Oxytropis parryi) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 03/21/2012
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    CommentPopulation size likely <10,000 individuals.

    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 in southern Montana.

    Number of Populations

    Comment3 populations documented.

    Environmental Specificity

    Score0 - Low: Species is a generalist that occurs in a variety of habitats and/or is tolerant of disturbed or degraded habitats (C -Values of 1-4).

    CommentNot restricted to a rare or specialized habitat.


    Score0-1 - Stable to Minor Declines:

    CommentTrends in montana are unknown.


    Score0 - Low: Impacts, if any, to the species are expected to be minor or insignificant (affecting <10% of populations) in severity, scope and immediacy.

    CommentThreats to the species appear to be minimal.

    Intrinsic Vulnerability

    Score0 - Low Vulnerability: Species does not have any unusual or specific life history or biological attributes or limted reproductive potential which makes it susceptible to extirpation from stochastic events or other adverse impacts to its habitat and thus slow to recover.

General Description
Parry's Crazyweed is a low perennial herb with 1-4 leafless stems that are 2-7 cm high and arising from a branched rootcrown. The basal, pinnately compound leaves have 9-19 narrowly elliptic, pointed leaflets that are 3-10 mm long. Membranous appendages, or stipules, are attached to the base of the long petioles. The foliage is covered with long, silky hairs. 1-3 sessile, pea-like, purple flowers are clustered at the tip of the stem. The upper petal of each flower is 7-10 mm long, bent forward, and barely longer than the lateral (wing) petals. The united lower petals, or keel, are shorter and have a prolonged point at their tip. The black-hairy calyx has 5 narrow lobes and is 3/4 the length of the corolla. The ascending, narrowly egg-shaped pods are 15-23 mm long, covered with appressed black hairs, and have a short, pointed beak.

Fruiting in mid-August.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Oxytropis podocarpa and O. campestris var. cusickii may also have as few as 2-3 fruits per stem, but the former has inflated pods, while the latter has light yellow flowers.

Species Range

Range Comments
Southeast MT and WY to NM, west to the mountains of central ID, NV, and CA.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 3

(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)

Gravelly, calcareous soil on exposed ridgetops in the alpine zone.

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Lesica, P., P. Husby, and S. V. Cooper. 1998. Noteworthy collections: Montana. Madrono 45:328-330.
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Citation for data on this website:
Parry's Locoweed — Oxytropis parryi.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from