Synonyms: Other names: fewseed whitlowgrass Nomenclature: oligosperma = few seeded Nativity / Invasiveness: Montana native plant
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General: tufted, mat-forming, usually somewhat gray-hairy perennial. Stems many, leafless, 1-10 cm tall, short-hairy throughout to hairless above.
Leaves: basal, tufted, partly overlapping, linear to linear-spatulate, 3-12 mm long and 0.75-1.75 mm broad, the mid-nerve and edges usually thickened, the lower surface, and often also to some extent the upper surface and the edges, covered with flat, doubly comb-like-branched hairs, the long axis of the hairs mostly paralleling the midnerve of the leaf.
Flowers: about 3 to 15 in dense top clusters. Flower stalks 3-10 mm long. The 4 sepals somewhat cupped, greenish with yellowish edges, 2-3 mm long. The 4 petals 3-5 mm long, yellow to off-white, fading with age.
Fruits: pods, ovate or oval to elliptic or oblong-obovate, 2.5-8 mm long, 2-4 mm broad, plane or somewhat inflated, hairless to copiously short-hairy with simple, 2-branched or comb-like-branched hairs. Style 0.1-1 mm long. Seeds 2-10, 1.4-1.8 mm long.
Widespread on rocky ridges and montane slopes, often down to the foothills and valleys, in w. and c. parts of MT. Also in much of the Rocky Mts in w. Canada and U.S.
var. oligosperma Hook: Hairiness of the pod valves coarse, the hairs simple and forked, usually backward-flat. Common in the Rocky Mts. from Alberta to WY and CO, w. to NV and the c. Sierra Nevada, CA, and through ID to n.e. OR and the c. Cascade range, WA, and n. to c. B.C.
var. pectinipila (Rollins) C. L. Hitchc.: Hairiness of the pod valves fine, at least in part doubly comb-like-branched. Known only from UT and n.w. Park Co., WY, but to be expected in adj. MT.
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