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Montana Field Guides

Rough Mule's Ears - Wyethia scabra
Other Names:  Scabrethia scabra

Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S3S4
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Wyethia scabra is found in Carbon and Bighorn Counties of Montana. Most occurrences are small due to the sparse distribution of plants on the landscape, but are frequent and widespread across the southern Pryor Mountains. Threats from grazing appear low due to the rough foliage of the leaves, and other threats have not been recognized. Most of the observation data was collected prior to 2000. More current data on population locations, sizes, and threats is needed.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Rough Mule's Ears (Wyethia scabra) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 09/05/2018
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    ScoreE - 2,500 - 10,000 individuals

    Range Extent

    ScoreB - 100-250 sq km (~40-100 sq mi)

    Area of Occupancy

    ScoreD - 6-25 4-km2 grid cells

    Number of Populations

    ScoreC - 21 - 80

    Number of Occurrences or Percent Area with Good Viability / Ecological Integrity

    ScoreC - Few (4-12) occurrences with excellent or good viability or ecological integrity

    Environmental Specificity

    ScoreD - Broad. Generalist or community with all key requirements common


    ScoreD - Low

General Description
Stems 20–60 cm. Herbage short-hispid. Leaves: basal absent; stem leaves narrowly lanceolate, sessile or subsessile, 8–18 cm long. Involucres 15–40 mm high, hemispheric; phyllaries hispid, ciliate. Disk corollas 7-9 mm long. Rays 10 to 18, yellow; ligules 15–50 mm long. Achenes 7–9 mm long, glabrous (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
MT to AZ, NM. Collected in Big Horn and Carbon counties (Lesica et al. 2012).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 70

(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)

Calcareous soil of juniper woodlands; valleys, montane (Lesica and Achuff 1992; Lesica et al. 2012).

Potential and Known Pollinators:
The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus fervidus, Bombus melanopygus, Bombus sylvicola, Bombus griseocollis, and Bombus insularis (Thorp et al. 1983, Koch et al. 2012, Williams et al. 2014).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P. and P.L. Achuff. 1992. Distribution of vascular plant species of special concern and limited distribution in the Pryor Mountain desert, Carbon County, Montana. Unpublished report to the Bureau of Land Management. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 105 pp.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Rough Mule's Ears — Wyethia scabra.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from