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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Western Polemonium - Polemonium occidentale

Native Species

Global Rank: G5?
State Rank: S4
C-value: 6

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Rhizomatous perennial. Stems erect, simple, not tufted, 20–80 cm. Herbage glabrate below, sparsely glandular-pubescent above. Leaves long-petiolate, 5–20 cm long; blades with 11 to 27 lanceolate, entire leaflets, 1–5 cm long. Inflorescence a terminal, leafy-bracted cyme. Flowers: calyx 5–8 mm long; corolla campanulate, tube 4–7 mm long with a ring of hairs at the level of filament insertion, lobes 5–9 mm long; stamens ca. as long as corolla; style exserted. Capsule 3–5 mm enclosed in the calyx (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
AK to CA, NV, UT and MN (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 84

(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)

Wet meadows, thickets, open forest, often along streams; valleys to subalpine (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus vagans, Bombus bifarius, Bombus flavifrons, Bombus sylvicola, Bombus griseocollis, Bombus impatiens, and Bombus kirbiellus (Macior 1968, Macior 1974, Wilson et al. 2010, Colla and Dumesh 2010, Miller-Struttmann and Galen 2014).

  • 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.
    • Macior, L.M. 1968. Bombus (Hymenoptera, Apidae) queen foraging in relation to vernal pollination in Wisconsin. Ecology 49:20-25.
    • Macior, L.M. 1974. Pollination ecology of the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Melanderia 15: 1-59.
    • Miller-Struttmann, N.E. and C. Galen. 2014. High-altitude multi-taskers: bumble bee food plant use broadens along an altitudinal productivity gradient. Oecologia 176:1033-1045.
    • Wilson, J.S., L.E. Wilson, L.D. Loftis, and T. Griswold. 2010. The montane bee fauna of north central Washington, USA, with floral associations. Western North American Naturalist 70(2): 198-207.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Culver, D.R. 1994. Floristic analysis of the Centennial Region, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 199 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.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Western Polemonium"
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Citation for data on this website:
Western Polemonium — Polemonium occidentale.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from