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Montana Field Guides

Few-seeded Bittercress - Cardamine oligosperma var. kamtschatica
Other Names:  Cardamine umbellata

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5T5
State Rank: S2?
(see State Rank Reason below)
State Threat Score: No Known Threats

Agency Status


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Only known from 1 collection in Montana. Additional data are needed to reliably determine the species' conservation status and needs in Montana.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Few-seeded Bittercress (Cardamine oligosperma var. kamtschatica) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 05/06/2013
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    Score3 - Vey Small: Generally <2,000 individuals.

    CommentEstimated. Available information only describes it as uncommon at the collection site.

    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.


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

    CommentRemote setting with no threats being identified.

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

General Description
Few-seeded Bittercress is a taprooted annual or bienniel herb with 1 to a few unbranched stems, up to 10 cm tall, which arise from a rosette of basal leaves. The basal leaves are pinnately divided with 2-4 pairs of shallowly lobed, egg-shaped leaflets, while those of the stem are alternate with narrowly lance-shaped leaflets. The foliage is glabrous or sparsely covered with short, straight hairs. The stalked flowers are borne in a compact inflorescence, 1-2 cm long, that branches at the base. Each flower has 4 white petals, 2-4 mm long, 4 shorter sepals, and 4 long and 2 short stamens. The narrow, linear seed capsules (siliques), 15-25 mm long, are borne on spreading to erect stalks, which are 5-15 mm long.

Fruiting in August.

Diagnostic Characteristics
C. OLIGOSPERMA VAR OLIGOSPERMA has an inflorescence at least 3 cm long, and the leaflets of the stem leaves are more egg-shaped than those of C. OLIGOSPERMA VAR KAMTSCHATICA. Species of DESCURAINIA also have pinnately compound leaves and linear siliques, but their foliage has branched hairs.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
AK to w. OR; Siberia.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 2

(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)

Moist, sparsely vegetated cliffs and talus slopes at or above timberline.

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

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Lesica, P. 1991. Noteworthy Collections in Montana....
    • 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:
Few-seeded Bittercress — Cardamine oligosperma var. kamtschatica.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from