Four-wing Saltbush - Atriplex canescens
Dioecious shrubs 40–100 cm tall with gray-scurfy foliage. Stems branched with peeling bark below. Leaves sessile, linear to narrowly oblong, 2–5 cm long with entire margins. Inflorescence glomerules in axillary or terminal spikes. Male flowers 5-parted, tawny. Female flowers lacking a calyx; pistillate bracts united to the tip. Mature pistillate bracts orbiculate, 3–6 mm long with 4 prominent wavy-margined to lobed wings (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX
Widely scattered across MT in about ten counties; AB to ND south through WA and ID to CA, east through Rockies and western plains states, and Mexico (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX; Welch 2003 in Fl. N. Amer. Vol. 4).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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Threats or Limiting Factors
STATE THREAT SCORE REASON
Reported threats to Montana's populations of Lead Plant are currently assigned as unknown (MTNHP Threat Assessment 2021). A number of populations were recently discovered where noxious weeds and related herbicide application are reported to occur, but severity of impacts is negligible. Lead Plant is not tolerant of shade, and conifer encroachment is a potential long-term threat. Livestock grazing occurs among populations, but does not appear to impact plants or populations.
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Britton, M. P. 1955. An ecological study of a relict grassland and an adjacent grazed pasture in Beaverhead Valley, Montana. M.S. thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 23 pp.
- Fritzen, D.E. 1995. Ecology and behavior of Mule Deer on the Rosebud Coal Mine, Montana. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 143 p.
- Harvey, S.J. 1990. Responses of steppe plants to gradients of water soil texture and disturbance in Montana, U.S.A. Ph.D. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 34 p.
- Hildebrand, B. D. 1979. Habitat requirements of molting Canada Geese at Lima Reservoir, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 79 p.
- King, L.A. 1980. Effects of topsoiling and other reclamation practices on nonseeded species establishment on surface mined land at Colstrip, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 129 p.
- Miller, M.G. 1980. The influence of habitat features on waterfowl productivity on stock reservoirs in south Valley County, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 43 p.
- Mundinger, J.G. 1975. The influence of rest-rotation grazing management on waterfowl production on stock-water reservoirs in Phillips County, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 100 p.
- Peterson, J.G. 1969. The food habits and summer distribution of juvenile sage grouse in central Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 39 p.
- Rundquist, V.M. 1973. Avian ecology on stock ponds in two vegetational types in north-central Montana. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 112 p.
- Seipel, T.F. 2006. Plant species diversity in the sagebrush steppe of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 87 p.
- Tschache, O.P. 1970. Effects of ecological changes induced by various sagebrush control techniques on small mammal populations. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 51 p.