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Montana Field Guides

Woody Aster - Xylorhiza glabriuscula

Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S4
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status


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State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Abundant in Carbon county in clayey soils across 1,000's of acres. Commonly associated with Artemesia pedatifida.
General Description
Taprooted perennial with a branched, woody caudex. Stems ascending to erect, 10–20 cm, sometimes branched near the base. Herbage finely villous. Leaves cauline, alternate, sessile, linear to oblanceolate, entire, 2–6 cm long. Heads radiate, 1 or 2 on naked peduncles at stem tips; involucres campanulate, 7–14 mm high; phyllaries scarious-margined, linear-lanceolate, villous, acuminate, imbricate in ca. 3 series; receptacle flat, naked. Disk flowers perfect, yellow; corollas 5–6 mm long, the tube and throat ca. equal. Ray flowers female, 12 to 25, white; ligules 10–15 mm long. Pappus of barbellate bristles. Achenes obconic, 4–7 mm long, 4-ribbed, sericeous (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Range Comments
MT, SD, WY, UT, CO. Known from Carbon County (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 63

(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)

Barren, often heavy, clay or sandy clay soil of slopes and outcrops in sagebrush grassland and desert shrubland in the valley zone.

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • 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?
    • Clark, D. 1991. The effect of fire on Yellowstone ecosystem seed banks. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 115 pp.
    • 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 Unpublished report to the Bureau of Land Management.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. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
    • Stockton, T. 1983. The origin of Xylorhiza glabriuscula var. Linearifolia (Asteraceae). American Journal of Botany 70:103.
    • Watson, T.J. 1976. Xylorhiza glabriuscula Nuttall: A new record for Montana. Proceedings of the Montana Academy of Sciences 36:99-100.
    • Watson, T.J. 1977. The taxonomy of Xylorhiza (Asteraceae-Astereae). Brittonia 29:199-216.
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Citation for data on this website:
Woody Aster — Xylorhiza glabriuscula.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from