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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Northwestern Groundsel - Senecio conterminus
Other Names:  Senecio resedifolius, Packera cymbalaria, Packera resedifolia, Packera contermina

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Native Species

Global Rank: G3G4
State Rank: S4

Agency Status


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General Description
Fibrous-rooted from a short rhizome. Stems ascending to erect, 4–10 cm. Herbage glabrate to sparsely arachnoid especially at basal leaf bases. Leaves thick; basal blades suborbicular to obovate, dentate, 5–20 mm long; cauline, sessile, lanceolate to oblanceolate, entire to pinnately lobed. Inflorescence 1 (2) heads. Heads radiate; involucres 9–15 mm high; phyllaries 21, glabrous, purplish. Rays 10 to 13; ligules 7–11 mm long. Disk corollas 5–8 mm long. Achenes 2–4 mm long, glabrous (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Lesica (2012) treats this species as Senecio cymbalaria and indicates that Senecio conterminus should be considered a synonym of S. cymbalaria. Others treat the species as Packera cymbalaria (Pursh) W.A. Weber & A. Love. Some sources, however, accept both Packera contermina and P. cymbalaria as distinct species .

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
Amphi-Beringian arctic alpine (Kamckatka Peninsula, Siberia, Alaska, Aleutian islands), from Mackenzie Mts. (NWT) over Alaska and N. central Asia to Ural Mts.

Lesica (2012) indicates the range in North America as being from AK to NL south to WA, ID and MT.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 23

(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)

Moist to dry, stony soil of fellfields, moraine, rock outcrops; alpine (Lesica et al. 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 bifarius, Bombus flavifrons, Bombus frigidus, Bombus huntii, Bombus melanopygus, Bombus mixtus, Bombus sylvicola, Bombus occidentalis, Bombus insularis, Bombus suckleyi, Bombus flavidus, and Bombus kirbiellus (Schmitt 1980, Thorp et al. 1983, Mayer et al. 2000, Wilson et al. 2010, Pyke et al. 2012, Koch et al. 2012, Williams et al. 2014).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Koch, J., J. Strange, and P. Williams. 2012. Bumble bees of the western United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 143 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Mayer, D.F., E.R. Miliczky, B.F. Finnigan, and C.A. Johnson. 2000. The bee fauna (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of southeastern Washington. Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia 97: 25-31.
    • Pyke, G.H., D.W. Inouye, and J.D. Thomson. 2012. Local geographic distributions of bumble bees near Crested Butte, Colorado: competition and community structure revisited. Environmental Entomology 41(6): 1332-1349.
    • Schmitt, J. 1980. Pollinator foraging behavior and gene dispersal in Senecio (Compositae). Evolution 34: 934-943.
    • Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
    • Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 208 p.
    • Wilson, J.S., L.E. Wilson, L.D. Loftis, and T. Griswold. 2010. The montane bee fauna of north central Washington, USA, with floral associations. Western North American Naturalist 70(2): 198-207.
  • 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.
    • Saunders, J.K., Jr. 1954. A two-year investigation of the food habits and range use of the Rocky Mountain goat in the Crazy Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 22 p.
    • Simanonok, M. 2018. Plant-pollinator network assembly after wildfire. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 123 p.
    • Simanonok, M.P. and L.A. Burkle. 2019. Nesting success of wood-cavity-nesting bees declines with increasing time since wildfire. Ecology and Evolution 9:12436-12445.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Northwestern Groundsel"
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Citation for data on this website:
Northwestern Groundsel — Senecio conterminus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from