Sand Cherry - Prunus pumila
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
The sole known extant location in Montana occurs along a county road and is susceptible to road construction and maintenance activities. A 1960 collection with vague locational data has not been relocated but it apparently occurred in native habitat.
- Details on Status Ranking and Review
Score3 - Vey Small: Generally <2,000 individuals.
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.
Area of Occupancy
Score3 - Very Low: Generally occurring in 3 or fewer Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s).
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).
Score0-3 - Population trends are unknown.
Score1-3 - Medium to Very High. Threats exist, but severity, scope and/or immediacy are uncertain.
CommentPopulation near rodside and may be susceptible to negative impacts.
Score0-1 - Low to Moderate Vulnerability.
Raw Conservation Status Score
9 to 15 total points scored out of a possible 19.
Sand Cherry is a low shrub with prostrate to ascending branches that are 1-4 dm tall. The alternate, narrowly elliptic leaves are 4-7 cm long, have petioles, and are 5-14 mm long with entire to toothed margins. The twigs are red but become gray with age, and the leaves are dark green and glabrous above but paler below. Clusters of 2-4 flowers occur in the axils of the expanding leaves. Each flower has a bowl-shaped, 5-lobed calyx that is 2-4 mm high and which holds the ovary and 25-30 stamens. The 5 separate, white petals are 6-8 mm long. The globose cherry is dark purple and 13-15 mm long.
Mature fruit in June.
The low, often nearly prostrate growth form is distinctive.
MT, SK, and MN, south to CO and KS. Peripheral.
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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Map Help and Descriptions
(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Sandy or rocky open soils in grasslands on the plains.
Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
- Commonly Associated with these Ecological Systems
- 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.