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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Pale Yellow Cryptantha - Cryptantha flavoculata

Potential Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S3S4
State Threat Score: No Known Threats

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Pale Yellow Cryptantha is a tuft-forming perennial herb with one to several flowering stems which stand 10-37 cm tall. The stems and leaves are grayish from a dense covering of appressed, somewhat soft, silky hairs and stiffer bristles; the lower surfaces have blister-like pustules, but these may be covered by the hairs, and are scarce or absent on the upper surfaces. The leaves are linear to narrowly spoon-shaped and are 3-11 cm long and 3-15 mm wide. The narrow to somewhat open spike-like inflorescence is 5-30 cm long with small bracts below the individual flowers. Each flower has 5 calyx segments which are separate to their bases, hairy like the leaves, and 5-6 mm long in flower and slightly longer and enclosing the fruit at maturity. The white or pale yellow tubular corolla is 7-10 mm long with five spreading lobes at its top which span 8-12 mm across it. There are five stamens borne on the interior of the corolla tube and a single basal pistil with a long slender style which exceeds the four mature nutlets by 4-8 mm. Both the inner and outer surfaces of the nutlets are wrinkled or adorned with pits, ridges, or tubercles. The scars where the nutlets were connected have constricted openings surrounded by conspicuously elevated margins.

Flowering and fruiting May-June.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Distinguished from other perennial Cryptantha in Montana by having a corolla longer than 6 mm, which is usually longer than the calyx.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
South-central MT south to CA, AZ, and NM. Peripheral.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 51

(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)

Dry, gravelly, calcareous slopes and hills in juniper woodlands.
Predicted Suitable Habitat Model

This species has a Predicted Suitable Habitat Model available.

To learn how these Models were created see

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Tepedino, J. V. 1974. The Bee Genus proteriades in Wyoming (Hymenoptera: Megachildae). Entomological News 85:147.
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Citation for data on this website:
Pale Yellow Cryptantha — Cryptantha flavoculata.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from