[The Genus Townsendia East of the Cascade Mts.]

Mountain Townsendia

Townsendia montana

Townsendia montana

Mountain townsendia as seen from the pass along the Frances Lake Trail, Eagle Cap Wilderness............July 25, 1997.

Townsendia montanaMountain townsendia from summit of Frances Lake Trail, Eagle Cap Wilderness........July 25, 1997.

Mountain townsendia is an attractive, low-growing perennialwildflower of high alpine slopes. The crowded leaves are largely basal with one to several erect stems arising from 2-4 cm high. The blades are broadly to narrowly spatulate, tapering to a slender petiole. The leaves measure 1-3.5 cm long.

A single flower head is found atop the short stem. The cup-shaped involucre is about 7-9 mm high, the lanceolate bracts of about 3 lengths with acute to obtuse tips. Individual bracts have red-tinged margins and are slightly pubescent. The central disk is yellow with up to 30 bluish or violet rays surrounding it. Individual rays measure 6-8 mm long.


Mountain townsendia may be found on dry open places, often in sand or gravel among rocks or on cliffs. It may be found at elevations from 7000 to 8500+ feet.


Mountain townsendia may be found from the Wallowa Mts of northeastern Oregon, northeast through central Idaho into southwest Montana, and southeast to Wyoming and Utah.

Paul Slichter