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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Sand Springbeauty - Claytonia arenicola
Other Names:  Montia arenicola

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S2S3
(see State Rank Reason below)
State Threat Score: No Known Threats
CCVI: Moderately Vulnerable

Agency Status
USFS: Sensitive - Known in Forests (LOLO)


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Rare in Montana, where it is currently known from only one localized area in the western portion of the state. As an annual, populations likely fluctuate widely from year to year. No specific threats have been identified.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Sand Springbeauty (Claytonia arenicola) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 01/08/2013
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    Score1-2 - Small to Moderate. Population size is imprecisely known but is believed to be >2,000 individuals and <100,000 individuals.

    Range Extent

    Score3 - Local Endemic or Very Small Montana Range: Generally restricted to an area <10,000 sq. miles (equivalent to the combined area of Phillips and Valley Counties) or <6 Sub-basins (4th code watersheds) Range-wide OR limited to one Sub-basin in Montana

    Area of Occupancy

    Score3 - Very Low: Generally occurring in 3 or fewer Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s).

    Environmental Specificity

    Score1 - Moderate: Species is restricted to a specific habitat that is more widely distributed or to several restricted habitats and is typically dependent upon relatively unaltered, good-quality habitat (C Values of 5-7).


    ScoreNA - Rank factor not assessed.

    CommentTrends unknown, though populations are likely stable or experiencing only minor declines. Habitat generally appears to be stable.


    Score0-1 - Low to Medium.

    Intrinsic Vulnerability

    Score1 - Moderate Vulnerability: Specific biological attributes, unusual life history characteristics or limited reproductive potential makes the species susceptible to extirpation from stochastic events or other adverse impacts to its habitat and slow to recover.

    Raw Conservation Status Score

    Score 9 to 11 total points scored out of a possible 16 (Rarity factors and threats only).

General Description
Sand Springbeauty is an annual with usually several lax to erect 5-15 cm long stems which arise from a slender taproot. The linear to narrowly spatulate leaves are 15-60 mm long and occur in a basal rosette; they are opposite on the lower stem. Foliage is glabrous. Several well-separated flowers are borne on spreading stalks that are up to 2 cm long and located at the top of the stem. Each flower has 5 pink-veined, white petals, that are 6-9 mm long; each flower also has 2 sepals that are ca. 2 mm long and 5 stamens. The fruit is a 3-seeded capsule that is approximately as long as the sepals.

Flowering in May.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Potentially confused with Montia dichotoma and M. linearis but these have alternate, linear leaves.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
In MT only known from Sanders County; a regional endemic from eastern WA, OR and adjacent ID (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 38

(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)

Mossy, forested, north-facing talus slopes in the lower montane zone.
Predicted Suitable Habitat Model

This species has a Predicted Suitable Habitat Model available.

To learn how these Models were created see

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus vagans, Bombus ternarius, Bombus pensylvanicus, and Bombus impatiens (Colla and Dumesh 2010, Williams et al. 2014).

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

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141:39-68.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • 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?
    • 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:
Sand Springbeauty — Claytonia arenicola.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from