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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

New Jersey Tea - Ceanothus herbaceus

Potential Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SH
(see State Rank Reason below)
State Threat Score: Unknown

Agency Status


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Known from one 1948 specimen collection with imprecise location data in Powder River County that noted a "few" plants. Subsequent surveys have not been able to relocate this species.

General Description
New Jersey Tea is a highly branched shrub with stems up to 1 m high. The alternate, lance-shaped to narrowly elliptic leaves are 2-6 cm long and have serrated edges; they are glabrous on top but hairy beneath. Numerous white flowers are born in congested, rounded inflorescences that terminate the growing branches. Each flower is ca. 2-3 mm high with 5 calyx lobes and 5 petals that have a linear basal portion and a hood-shaped blade. There are 5 stamens and a 3-lobed ovary. The fruit is a glossy, brown, 3-lobed, globose capsule that is 3-5 mm wide.

Flowering in June.

Range Comments
Eastern and central North America, west to MT, WY; collected in Powder River County 60 years ago (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 1

(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)

Open pine forests of hills and plains.

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus bifarius, Bombus melanopygus, Bombus mixtus, Bombus nevadensis, Bombus rufocinctus, Bombus sitkensis, Bombus occidentalis, and Bombus impatiens (Thorp et al. 1983, Colla and Dumesh 2010, Koch et al. 2012, Williams et al. 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.
    • Koch, J., J. Strange, and P. Williams. 2012. Bumble bees of the western United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 143 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
    • Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 208 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • 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:
New Jersey Tea — Ceanothus herbaceus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from