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Montana Field Guides

Nodding Locoweed - Oxytropis deflexa var. foliolosa

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5T5
State Rank: S2S3
(see State Rank Reason below)
State Threat Score: No Known Threats

Agency Status


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Rare in Montana, where it has been documented from a few, high-elevation sites in the mountains of the southwest portion of the state.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Nodding Locoweed (Oxytropis deflexa var. foliolosa) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 03/21/2012
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    CommentPopulation size likely <10,000 individuals.

    Range Extent

    Score1 - Peripheral, Disjunct or Sporadic Distribution in MT: Widespread species that is peripheral, disjunct or sporadically distributed within MT such that it occurs in <5% of the state (<7,500 sq. miles or the combined area of Beaverhead and Ravalli Counties) or is restricted to 4-5 sub-basins.

    CommentSparsely distributed in Montana and the Rocky Mountains.

    Number of Populations

    CommentA few populations documented.

    Environmental Specificity

    Score0 - Low: Species is a generalist that occurs in a variety of habitats and/or is tolerant of disturbed or degraded habitats (C -Values of 1-4).

    CommentNot restricted to a rare or specialized habitat.


    Score0-1 - Stable to Minor Declines:

    CommentTrends in montana are unknown.


    Score0 - Low: Impacts, if any, to the species are expected to be minor or insignificant (affecting <10% of populations) in severity, scope and immediacy.

    CommentThreats to the species appear to be minimal.

    Intrinsic Vulnerability

    Score0 - Low Vulnerability: Species does not have any unusual or specific life history or biological attributes or limted reproductive potential which makes it susceptible to extirpation from stochastic events or other adverse impacts to its habitat and thus slow to recover.

General Description
Pendent-pod Crazyweed is a perennial herb with leafless stems that are up to 15 cm high and arising from a simple or branched rootcrown. The basal, pinnately compound leaves have 9-17 narrowly elliptic leaflets that are 3-25 mm long. Leaf-like appendages, or stipules, located at the base of the long petioles, are lance-shaped and 6-12 mm long. The foliage is sparsely covered with long, appressed hairs. 3-10 sessile, pea-like, blue flowers are clustered at the tip of the stem. The upper petal of each flower is ca. 1 cm long, bent forward, and barely longer than the lateral, or wing, petals. The united lower petals, or keel, are shorter and have a nipple-like point at their tip. The black-hairy calyx has 5 narrow lobes and is 2/3 the length of the corolla. The nodding, tubular pods are 10-18 mm long, covered with appressed black hairs, and have a long indentation on one side.

Flowering and fruiting in August.

Diagnostic Characteristics
The pendulous pods separate O. DEFLEXA from other members of the genus. O. DEFLEXA VAR SERICEA is usually taller with more than 10 flowers per inflorescence.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 10

(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)

Gravelly, dry, limestone-derived slopes in the alpine zone.
Predicted Suitable Habitat Model

This species has a Predicted Suitable Habitat Model available.

To learn how these Models were created see

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus appositus, Bombus bifarius, Bombus centralis, Bombus fervidus, Bombus flavifrons, Bombus melanopygus, Bombus nevadensis, Bombus rufocinctus, Bombus sylvicola, Bombus occidentalis, Bombus insularis, and Bombus kirbiellus (Macior 1974, Bauer 1983, Shaw and Taylor 1986, Williams et al. 2014, Miller-Struttmann and Galen 2014).

Threats or Limiting Factors
Threat impact not assigned because threats are not known (MTNHP Threat Assessment 2021).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Bauer, P.J. 1983. Bumblebee pollination relationships on the Beartooth Plateau tundra of Southern Montana. American Journal of Botany. 70(1): 134-144.
    • Macior, L.M. 1974. Pollination ecology of the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Melanderia 15: 1-59.
    • Miller-Struttmann, N.E. and C. Galen. 2014. High-altitude multi-taskers: bumble bee food plant use broadens along an altitudinal productivity gradient. Oecologia 176:1033-1045.
    • Shaw, D.C. and R.J. Taylor.1986. Pollination ecology of an alpine fell-field community in the North Cascades. Northwest Science 60:21-31.
    • Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 208 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Culver, D.R. 1994. Floristic analysis of the Centennial Region, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 199 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.
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Citation for data on this website:
Nodding Locoweed — Oxytropis deflexa var. foliolosa.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from