Sand Cherry - Prunus pumila
Species of Concern
* (see State Rank Reason below)
MNPS Threat Rank
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
Sand Cherry (Prunus pumila) Conservation Status Review
Review Date = 11/06/2012
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).
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.
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).
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.
Number of Species Occurrences:
*Not all Species Occurrences are mapped
MT, SK, and MN, south to CO and KS. Peripheral.
Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations:
(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version)
Map Help and Descriptions
(Records associated with a range of dates 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