Search Field Guide
Advanced Search
MT Gov Logo
Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Smooth Cliffbrake - Pellaea glabella

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S3S4
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Pellaea glabella is scattered in central and western Montana. From 1886-2010 about 44 locations have been found. Populations appear to be secure and grow in protected areas, such as the crevices of limestone in montane to subalpine habitats.
General Description
Leaves 2–40 cm long with petiole shorter than or equal to the blade. Leaf blade linear, 1–2 times pinnate below. Pinnae ascending, narrowly elliptic, deeply lobed, or pinnate into lanceolate pinnules. Sporangia with 32 or 64 spores (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range

Range Comments
In MT mostly in the western half, with outliers in Phillips and Powder River counties; BC to QC south to AZ, TX and TN (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 44

(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)

Cliff crevices, most commonly on limestone; montane to subalpine (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 2. Pteridophytes and Gymnosperms. Oxford University Press, Inc., NY. xvi + 475 pp.
    • Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • McGregor, R.L., coordinator, and T.M. Barkley, R.E. Brooks, and E.K. Schofield, eds.: Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: Univ. Press Kansas. 1392 pp.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Smooth Cliffbrake"
Login Logout
Citation for data on this website:
Smooth Cliffbrake — Pellaea glabella.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from