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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Spiny Greasebush - Glossopetalon spinescens
Other Names:  Glossopetalon nevadense

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S1
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank: 1

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
A peripheral species in Montana where it is only known from one small occurrence on the Bitterroot National Forest. Population is vulnerable to human impacts as it occurs adjacent to a road.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Spiny Greasebush (Glossopetalon spinescens) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 05/06/2013
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    Score3 - Vey Small: Generally <2,000 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.


    Score3 - Very High: >70% of the populations are being negatively impacted or are likely to be negatively impacted in the near future by one or more activities or agents that are expected to result in decreased populations and/or decreasing habitat quality and/or quantity.

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

General Description
Intricately branched, glabrous shrubs. Stems to 2 m high, thorny, ribbed, bearing old petiolar bases, green becoming tan. Leaves alternate, short-petiolate, narrowly oblanceolate, entire, 3–10 mm long; stipules lobed, adnate to the petiole. Flowers solitary at nodes of leaf-like bracts, perfect, perigynous; sepals 5, ovate, 1–2 mm long; petals 5, linear, ca. 3 mm long; stamens 6 to 10; pistil 1; ovary superior. Fruit an asymmetrical-ovoid, ribbed, leathery follicle 3–6 with 1 seed (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Montana plants are variety aridum M.E. Jones

Flowering in May or June.

Species Range

Range Comments
OR (Harney and Wallowa cos), WA, ID, TX (Trans-Pecos), CA (south Klamath Ranges, Piute Mtns, Kern County, south High Sierra Nevada, north base of San Bernardino Mts., White and Inyo Mts, Desert Mtns), and northern MX.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 5

(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)

Rocky canyon walls in the lower montane zone.

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Pipp, Andrea. Correspondence on specific SOC plants and their threats. February 25-March 2. Electronic mail correspondence between Andrea Pipp, MTNHP Botanist, Helena, MT and Robin Taylor-Davenport, Bitterroot National Forest Forest Botanist, Hamilton, Montana.
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Citation for data on this website:
Spiny Greasebush — Glossopetalon spinescens.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from