Poison Suckleya -
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Native Species Global Rank
State Rank Reason below) C-value
Agency Status USFWS
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Suckleya suckleyana is widely scattered in eastern Montana. Plants exhibit an annual life cycle and associate with dried, sometimes saline, ponds, reservoirs, streambanks, ditches, and cultivated fields. Plants seem to persist with natural or human disturbance, such as in the drying of ponds. More information on locations, population sizes and longevity, and threats is needed to better assess its status in Montana.
Details on Status Ranking and Review
Score F - 20,000-200,000 sq km (~8,000-80,000 sq mi)
Comment68,771 square kilometers Area of Occupancy
Score D - 6-25 4-km2 grid cells
CommentPlant occurs in 11 of the 30,590 4x4 square-kilometer grid cells that cover Montana. Number of Populations
Score B - 6 - 20
Comment11 observations Environmental Specificity
Score C - Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce Threats
Score D - Low
CommentPlants seem to require disturbance.
Monoecious annual. Stems branched, succulent, prostrate to ascending, 10–40 cm. Leaves farinose when young, long-petiolate; the blade rhombic to orbicular, 1–3 cm long with crenate margins. Inflorescence axillary flower clusters. Flowers unisexual. Male flowers a 4-parted calyx with 4 stamens. Female flowers enclosed in 2 partially united, hirsute bracts; calyx absent. Fruit enclosed by swollen, triangular bracts, 4–6 mm long with narrow, crenulate wing margins and divergent tips; seed smooth, brown, ca. 3 mm long (
Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX
Flowering in July-August.
This is the only species in its genus. It most resembles some of the prostrate, annual species of
Atriplex, but differs by having pistillate bracts which are strongly compressed.
In MT only from Petroleum, Valley, Roosevelt and Dawson counties; a High Plains endemic from AB and SK south to TX and NM (
Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX; Gelin 2003 in Fl. N. Amer. Vo. 4).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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Map Help and Descriptions
(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Drying mud along ponds and streams, and in disturbed, often alkaline soil on the plains.
Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
Literature Cited Above
Legend: 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 References
Legend: View Online Publication Do you know of a citation we're missing? Chu, G.L., H.C. Stutz, and S.C. Sanderson. 1991. Morphology and taxonomic position of Suckleya suckleyana (Chenopodiaceae). American Journal of Botany 78(1):63-68. 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.