Phlox missoulensis - Wherry
Missoula Phlox
Synonym(s): Phlox kelseyi var. missoulensis (Wherry) Cronq.
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Phlox missoulensis Wherry (TSN 504320)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.147206
Element Code: PDPLM0D190
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Phlox Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Solanales Polemoniaceae Phlox
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Phlox missoulensis
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 20Feb2018
Global Status Last Changed: 22Oct2015
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Endemic to west-central to Montana.  Most populations are moderate to large-sized.  Threats include invasive species, heavy recreational trail use, and development.  
Nation: United States
National Status: N3

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Montana (S3)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Endemic to the Northern Rocky Mountains in west-central Montana, from Missoula to the Little Belt Mountains and the southern end of the Rocky Mountain Front south to Granite County (Locklear 2009; Montana Natural Heritage Program 2018).

Area of Occupancy: 26-125 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are 20 to 28 extant occurrences in the NatureServe Network Database as of February 2018.  The Montana Natural Heritage Program has 96 observations as of 2018.   

Population Size Comments: A minimum estimate of the number of individuals is 37,000 (based on data in Montana Natural Heritage Program database as of 2018). 

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Some (13-40)

Overall Threat Impact: High - medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Invasive species are a primary threat at lower elevations (Montana Natural Heritage Program 2018). Trampling is also a threat, though at one population a trail has been re-routed greatly reducing this threat (Montana Natural Heritage Program 2018).  Other threats include developement, grazing, roads, logging, fire suppression, and herbicide.  Analyze occurrence/observation data to determine whether some occurrences should be combined.   

Short-term Trend: Unknown

Long-term Trend: Unknown

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Endemic to the Northern Rocky Mountains in west-central Montana, from Missoula to the Little Belt Mountains and the southern end of the Rocky Mountain Front south to Granite County (Locklear 2009; Montana Natural Heritage Program 2018).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States MT

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
MT Cascade (30013), Granite (30039), Jefferson (30043), Judith Basin (30045), Lewis and Clark (30049), Meagher (30059), Missoula (30063), Powell (30077)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
10 Upper Missouri (10030101)+, Upper Missouri-Dearborn (10030102)+, Smith (10030103)+, Belt (10030105)+, Judith (10040103)+
17 Upper Clark Fork (17010201)+, Flint-Rock (17010202)+, Blackfoot (17010203)+, Middle Clark Fork (17010204)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A perennial herb that forms compact mats. Stems are up to 1 dm long and are densely leafy with linear leaves. Flowers (May and June) range from white to lilac-colored. Some botanists consider this taxon to be a variety of P. kelseyi, rather than a distinct species.
General Description: Missoula Phlox is a mat-forming perennial with numerous prostrate, branching stems that are up to 10 cm long and arising from a branched rootcrown. The sharply-pointed, linear leaves are 10-25 mm long and 1-3 mm wide, are opposite each other on the stem, and have thickened margins and long, spreading hairs at their base. The herbage is otherwise glabrous to short-hairy or glandular. The typical phlox flowers are solitary at the ends of the stems. The five-lobed calyx is densely hairy and sometimes glandular. The corolla is white or various shades of pink and blue. It has a tube that is 10-13 mm long and five broad lobes that are 6-9 mm long at the mouth. The style is 4-8 mm long.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Phlox is a very difficult genus to distinguish, and a technical key should be consulted for positive identification. P. kelseyi var. missoulensis and P. k. var. kelseyi are very similar; however, the former occurs in dry, exposed habitats, while the latter is found in moist meadows. P. multiflora is similar but lacks the long hairs on the leaves.


PHLOX is a very difficult genus to distinguish, and a technical key should be consulted for positive identification. P. KELSEYI VAR MISSOULENSIS and P. K. VAR KELSEYI are very similar; however, the former occurs in dry, exposed habitats, while the latter is found in moist meadows. P. MULTIFLORA is similar but lacks the long hairs on the leaves.

Terrestrial Habitat(s): Bare rock/talus/scree, Forest Edge, Grassland/herbaceous
Habitat Comments: Habitat is exposed mountain slopes and ridges with dry to xeric, shallow, stony soils (Locklear 2009).  Associated with Rocky Mountain Subalpine Woodland and Parkland Grassland,  Rocky Mountain Lower Montane, Foothill, and Valley Grassland, and Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Upper Montane Grassland (Montana Natural Heritage Program 2018).  
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Continue to monitor known populations for status of threats, site condition, and abundance of plants. Survey potential habitat in areas predicted to be suitable for new populations (Montana Natural Heritage Program 2017). Seek long term protection for exceptional sites that are not protected. Record and monitor the impact of management actions. Restrict grazing at some sites. Research the species response to fire and determine if sites would benefit from fire. 
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 20Feb2018
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Shelly, J.S., and P. Lesica (rev. Heidel/Maybury 5/96), rev. S. Mincemoyer (2007), rev. Treher (2017), rev. A. Tomaino (2018)
Management Information Edition Date: 20Feb2018
Management Information Edition Author: Treher, rev. A. Tomaino (2018)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 07Dec1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): KAJ

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Campbell, L. M. 1992. Biosystematics of PHLOX KELSEYI (Polemoniaceae). M.S. thesis. University of Montana. 78 pp.

  • Campbell, L.M. 1992. Biosystematics of Phlox kelseyi (Polemoniaceae) M.S. thesis. Univ. Montana, Missoula. 78 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Lackschewitz, K. 1991. Vascular Plants of West-Central Montana - Identification Guidebook. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-277. Ogden, UT: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 648 pp.

  • Lackschewitz, K. 1991. Vascular plants of west-central Montana--identification guidebook. U.S. Forest Service Intermountain Research Station, Ogden, UT. 648 pp.

  • Locklear, J.H. 2009. Nomenclatural innovations in Phlox (Polemoniaceae), with updated circumscription of P. caespitosa, P. douglasii, P. missoulensis, and P. richardsonii. Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 3(2): 645-658.

  • Montana Natural Heritage Program. 2017. Missoula Phlox (Phlox kelseyi var. missoulensis) predicted suitable habitat models created on October 20, 2017. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 14 pp.

  • Montana Natural Heritage Program. 2018. Montana Field Guide. Online. Available: http://fieldguide.mt.gov (Accessed 2018).

  • Schassberger, L. and P. Achuff. 1991. Status review of PHLOX KELSEYI var. MISSOULENSIS. Prepared for the USDA Forest Service, Region 1, Lewis and Clark National Forest, Montana. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 37 pp.

  • Schassberger, L.A., and P.L. Achuff. 1991. Status review of Phlox kelseyi ssp. missoulensis. Prepared for the USDA Forest Service, Region 1, Lewis and Clark National Forest, Montana. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 37 pp.

  • Wherry, E.T. 1944. New phloxes from the Rocky Mountains and neighboring regions. Notulae Naturae 146: 1-11.

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