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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Carolina Tassel-rue - Trautvetteria caroliniensis

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S3S4
(see State Rank Reason below)
C-value: 8

Agency Status


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Trautvetteria caroliniensis in Montana occurs at the eastern edge of its northwestern North America distribution. It grows in western spruce-fir forests and subalpine meadows and becomes more abundant westerly into Idaho. Although it doesn't occupy a lot of habitat in Montana, populations appear to be stable and continuous with those in Idaho where it is found to be common.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Carolina Tassel-rue (Trautvetteria caroliniensis) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 09/08/2017
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Range Extent

    ScoreE - 5,000-20,000 sq km (~2,000-8,000 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

    CommentNo known threats.

General Description
Herbaceous perennial from short rhizomes and fibrous roots. Stems erect, 50–80 cm. Leaves basal and cauline, petiolate; the blade pubescent below, broadly cordate, deeply palmately lobed into 5 to 11 dentate segments; the basal to 30 cm across. Inflorescence a terminal corymb with numerous flowers, glandular and covered with dense, small, hooked hairs. Flowers perfect, radially symmetrical; sepals 3 to 5, greenish, ca. 3 mm long, deciduous; petals absent; stamens numerous, 4–8 mm long; pistils ca. 15, 1-seeded. Fruit a thin-walled and inflated achene (utricle) 2–3 mm long with a hooked beak (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Populations in the western half of North America are recognized by many as var. occidentalis (Gray) C.L. Hitchock.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
Pacific NW from BC to CA into western MT; sporadically elsewhere in West, also eastern US, especially Appalachians (Parfitt, 1997, in Flora North America, Vol. 3).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 68

(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)

Moist coniferous forest, often along streams and with red cedar; valleys, montane (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 1997. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 3. Magnoliophyta: Magnoliidae and Hamamelidae. Oxford University Press, Inc., New York, NY. xxiii + 590 pp.
    • 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
    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.
    • King, C. R. 1953. The Ranunculaceae of Montana. M.S. Thesis, Bozeman, MT: Montana State College. 82 p.
    • 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.
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Citation for data on this website:
Carolina Tassel-rue — Trautvetteria caroliniensis.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from