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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Mission Mountain kittentails - Synthyris canbyi
Other Names:  Veronica canbyi

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G2G3
State Rank: S2S3
(see State Rank Reason below)
State Threat Score: No Known Threats
CCVI: Highly Vulnerable

Agency Status
USFS: Sensitive - Known in Forests (BD, BRT)


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
State endemic with 10 occurrences restricted to high elevation, open, rocky slopes in the Mission and Swan Ranges. As such, habitat is not generally prone to human disturbance and most occurrences are in designated wilderness areas. Additional occurrences likely exist across the known range of the species.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Mission Mountain kittentails (Synthyris canbyi) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 05/03/2013
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    Score2 - Small: Generally 2,000-10,000 individuals.

    CommentEstimated. Available observation and collection information provides little data on population levels.

    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

    Score2 - Low: Generally occurring in 4-10 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.

    CommentTrends unknown though populations are likely stable or experiencing only minor declines.


    Score0-1 - Low to Medium.

    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 9 to 10 total points scored out of a possible 16 (Rarity factors and threats only).

General Description
Herbage glabrous to sparsely villous. Leaf blades ovate-cordate to orbicular, 1–4 cm long, 1 to 2 times palmately lobed >1/2-way to the midvein, ultimate segments dentate. Inflorescence villous; scape 4–10 cm long, shorter to longer than the leaves; bracts serrate. Flowers: calyx 3–6 mm long; corolla 5–10 mm long, lobes ca. as long as the tube. Capsule 4–6 mm long, pubescent (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Flowering from late June through early August.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
Montana endemic.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 19

(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, rocky, usually calcareous soil of talus slopes and windswept ridge tops in the subalpine and alpine zones.
Predicted Suitable Habitat Model

This species has a Predicted Suitable Habitat Model available.

To learn how these Models were created see

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

Threats or Limiting Factors
Threat impact not assigned because threats are not known (MTNHP Threat Assessment 2021).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • 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?
    • 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:
Mission Mountain kittentails — Synthyris canbyi.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from