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Montana Field Guides

American Winter-cress - Barbarea orthoceras

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4
(see State Rank Reason below)
C-value: 4

Agency Status


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
S4 non-SOC: Barbarea orthoceras appears to be present through much of central and western Montana.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    American Winter-cress (Barbarea orthoceras) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 09/23/2016
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    ScoreU - Unknown

    Range Extent

    ScoreF - 20,000-200,000 sq km (~8,000-80,000 sq mi)

    Area of Occupancy

    ScoreE - 26-125 4-km2 grid cells

    Number of Populations

    ScoreC - 21 - 80

    Number of Occurrences or Percent Area with Good Viability / Ecological Integrity

    ScoreC - Few (4-12) occurrences with excellent or good viability or ecological integrity

    Environmental Specificity

    ScoreC - Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce

    Long-term Trend

    ScoreU - Unknown


    ScoreU - Unknown


    ScoreD - Low

    CommentThreat categories include: Housing & urban areas, Annual & perennial non-timber crops.

    Intrinsic Vulnerability

    ScoreC - Not intrinsically vulnerable

General Description
Plants: Glabrous to sparingly-haired bienniel herb with a taproot (Hitchcock et al. 1964) Stems angled, unbranched or branched above (McGregor et al. 1986), erect, 20–50 cm tall (Lesica 2012).

Leaves: Basal leaves 4–12 cm in length, oblong with 1 to 6 pairs of lateral lobes with sinuate margins. Stem leaves pinnately lobed or divided, reduced upward (Lesica 2012).

Inflorescence: Dense racemes; pedicels thick or club-shaped, up to 1 mm in length (McGregor et al. 1986).

(P. Lesica's contribution adapted from Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)

Flowers March-July (FNA 2010).

Range Comments
AK to NL south to CA, AZ, MN, NH; Asia (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 37

(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)

Scree, rocky bluffs (FNA 2010), moist soil of thickets, wet meadows, along streams, wetlands, open forest; valleys to lower subalpine (Lesica 2012).

(Lesica's contribution adapted from 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 insularis (Thorp et al. 1983).

Reproductive Characteristics
Flowers: Sepals light yellow-green, 2 mm in length (Hitchcock et al. 1964), upright, oblong; petals light yellow (McGregor et al. 1986), 3–6 mm in length (Lesica 2012).

Fruits: Siliques 15–25 mm in length, up to 1 mm in width, 4-angled, erect or spreading, with a beak 2 mm in length (Lesica 2012); valve with prominent midnerve (Hitchcock et al. 1964). Seeds brown, minutely wrinkled, 0.8-1 mm in width (McGregor et al. 1986).

(P. Lesica's contribution adapted from Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 2010. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 7. Magnoliophyta: Salicaceae to Brassicaceae. Oxford University Press, Inc., NY. 832 pp.
    • Hitchcock, C. L., A. Cronquist, M. Ownbey, and J. W. Thompson. 1964. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest. Part 2: Salicaceae to Saxifragaceae. University of Washington Press, Seattle. 597 pp.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • McGregor, R.L. (coordinator), T.M. Barkley, R.E. Brooks, and E.K. Schofield (eds). 1986. Flora of the Great Plains: Great Plains Flora Association. Lawrence, KS: Univ. Press Kansas. 1392 pp.
    • 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.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Ament, R.J. 1995. Pioneer Plant Communities Five Years After the 1988 Yellowstone Fires. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 216 p.
    • Clark, D. 1991. The effect of fire on Yellowstone ecosystem seed banks. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 115 pp.
    • Culver, D.R. 1994. Floristic analysis of the Centennial Region, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 199 pp.
    • Fultz, J.E. 2005. Effects of shelterwood management on flower-visiting insects and their floral resources. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 163 p.
    • Stoecker, R.E. 1967. A population study of five species of small rodents in the Bridger Mountains of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 32 p.
    • Tuinstra, K. E. 1967. Vegetation of the floodplains and first terraces of Rock Creek near Red Lodge, Montana. Ph.D dissertation. Montana State University, Bozeman 110 pp.
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Citation for data on this website:
American Winter-cress — Barbarea orthoceras.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from