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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Red kittentails - Besseya rubra
Other Names:  Red Coraldrops

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4S5

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Stems erect, 15–40 cm, simple. Herbage puberulent to sparsely villous. Basal leaf blades sometimes cordate, 4–12 cm long. Inflorescence 5–25 cm long; bracts oblanceolate. Flowers: calyx 4-lobed, 2–4 mm long, septate-villous mainly on the margins, fully enclosing the ovary; stamens dark red, 4–6 mm long. Capsule 4–7 mm long, ovoid, longer than wide (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range

Range Comments
WA to MT south to OR (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 211

(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)

Grasslands, open ponderosa pine forest; valleys, montane (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus frigidus, Bombus sylvicola, and Bombus insularis (Macior 1974, Miller-Struttmann and Galen 2014).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Macior, L.M. 1974. Pollination ecology of the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Melanderia 15: 1-59.
    • Miller-Struttmann, N.E. and C. Galen. 2014. High-altitude multi-taskers: bumble bee food plant use broadens along an altitudinal productivity gradient. Oecologia 176:1033-1045.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Hawkins, P.H. 1903. The alpine flora of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis, Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 24 pp.
    • 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:
Red kittentails — Besseya rubra.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from