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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Kelsey's Phlox - Phlox kelseyi

Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S4
C-value: 5

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Taprooted, forming loose to dense mats. Stems prostrate to ascending, 3–12 cm, glabrous or sparsely hirsute and glandular. Leaves firm to succulent, linear, 8–25 mm long, glabrous to glandular-puberulent, often ciliate. Flowers solitary; calyx glabrate to glandular-villous, 6–12 mm long with flat intercostal membranes; corolla white to blue, the tube 9–16 mm long, lobes 5–9 mm long; style 4–7 mm long (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Our plants are varieties kelseyi and missoulensis (Wherry) Cronquist.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


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

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 178

(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)

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus vagans, Bombus flavifrons, Bombus melanopygus, Bombus pensylvanicus, Bombus bimaculatus, Bombus griseocollis, Bombus impatiens, and Bombus kirbiellus (Shaw and Taylor 1986, Colla and Dumesh 2010).

  • 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.
    • Shaw, D.C. and R.J. Taylor.1986. Pollination ecology of an alpine fell-field community in the North Cascades. Northwest Science 60:21-31.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Campbell, L.M. 1992. Biosystematics of Phlox kelseyi (Polemoniaceae). M.S. thesis. University of Montana. 78 pp.
    • Campbell, Lisa M. 1985. Biosystematics of Phlox kelseyi (Polemoniaceae). University of Montana, Missoula, MT. 125 pp.
    • Jones, W. W. 1901. Preliminary flora of Gallatin County. M.S. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State College. 78 pp.
    • 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.
    • Schassberger, L.A. and P.L. Achuff. 1991. Status review of Phlox kelseyi var. Missoulensis. Prepared for the USDA Forest Service, Region 1, Lewis & Clark National Forest, Montana. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT 37 pp.
    • Steele, R. W. 1971. Red alder habitats in Clearwater County, Idaho. Unpublished thesis, University of Idaho, Moscow. 88 pp.
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Citation for data on this website:
Kelsey's Phlox — Phlox kelseyi.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from