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Montana Field Guides

Slim-pod Venus'-looking-glass - Triodanis leptocarpa
Other Names:  Specularia leptocarpa

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5?
State Rank: S3
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Triodanis leptocarpa is common in the southern Great Plains and extends into eastern and central Montana. It occurs in grasslands, grass-dominated rocky slopes, and sagebrush-dominated grasslands. It has been found in grazed and ungrazed lands and appears to tolerate some disturbance. Approximately 14 locations were documented prior to 1958 and occur in central Montana. Approximately 14 locations were documented since 1974 and mostly occur in eastern Montana. Re-visits to known locations and current population data is greatly needed.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Slim-pod Venus'-looking-glass (Triodanis leptocarpa) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 09/13/2017
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Range Extent

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

    Area of Occupancy

    ScoreD - 6-25 4-km2 grid cells

    Number of Populations

    ScoreC - 21 - 80

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

    ScoreB - Very few (1-3) occurrences with excellent or good viability or ecological integrity

    Environmental Specificity

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


    ScoreD - Low

General Description
Stems erect, simple or branched, 5–40 cm. Herbage sparsely short-hispid. Leaves lanceolate or oblanceolate, entire to obscurely crenate, sessile, 7–25 mm long. Inflorescence with clusters of 1 to 3 sessile flowers in axils of linear bracts; lower flowers cleistogamous. Chasmogamous flowers: sepals linear, 6–12 mm long; corolla deep blue, 5–8 mm long. Capsule linear, 14–20 mm long for chasmogamous flowers, 8–15 mm long for cleistogamous flowers (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
MT to IN south to TX and AR (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 30

(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)

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 pensylvanicus and Bombus griseocollis (Colla and Dumesh 2010).

Threats or Limiting Factors
Threat impact not assigned because threats are not known.

  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Britton, N. L. and A. B. Brown. 1913. An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada, and the British Possessions. 2nd Edition in 3 Volumes. New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons. B13BRI01PAUS.
    • Jones, W. W. 1901. Preliminary flora of Gallatin County. M.S. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State College. 78 pp.
    • Quire, R.L. 2013. The sagebrush steppe of Montana and southeastern Idaho shows evidence of high native plant diversity, stability, and resistance to the detrimental effects of nonnative plant species. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 124 p.
    • Seipel, T.F. 2006. Plant species diversity in the sagebrush steppe of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 87 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Slim-pod Venus'-looking-glass — Triodanis leptocarpa.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from