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Palouse Prairie Foundation native plant species

Silene spaldingii
Spaulding's catchfly, Spaulding's silene, Spaulding's campion

     ID: Adams, Lewis Counties, Nez Perce County
     MT: Flathead Lake, Saunders counties
     OR: Wallowa county (extinct?)
     WA: Spokane, Whitman counties
Land ownership: mostly private
Vegetation type: Palouse prairie, bunchgrass, shrub and sagebrush communities and ponderosa forest.
Habitat: "Symphoricarpos albus/Festuca idahoensis h.t.," Pinus ponderosa with Symphoricarpos albus, "Artemesia tridentata h.t.," "virgin Festuca idahoensis prairie."
Hazards: Possibly affected by herbicides or grazing.
Herbarium data: Adams?: 1 site. Lewis: 1 site.
Herbarium data do not support the contention that this species is confined to virgin grassland. The scattered distribution and varied habitat adds considerable confusion. Heidel (1979) made 2 collections in Whitman co WA and recollected the Lewis co site. It was also collected in MT in 1979, although Watson (1976) believes it to be endangered (extinct?) there.
Recommendations: Treat as threatened
Status: ID, MT, OR, BC: S1 (critically imperiled); US: N2; CA: N1; Global: G2
Status notes: Global Heritage Status Rank Reasons:
This regional endemic is restricted to remnants of the prairie grasslands of eastern Washington, northeastern Oregon,
northern Idaho, and western Montana (barely extending into British Columbia, Canada). It is currently known from 35-40
extant occurrences in Washington, 12-14 in Oregon, about 10 in Idaho, and 8-9 in Montana. However, the vast majority
of these sites have fewer than 50 individual plants, and about 90% of the estimated 11,000 total individuals are
concentrated on a single site in Montana. Range-wide, a significant amount of habitat has been lost to conversion to
agriculture, restricting most remaining occurrences to small, isolated fragments of native vegetation, where they are
vulnerable to degradation. Genetic isolation may also be of concern.
Form: forb
Duration: perennial
Origin: Native to U.S.
Rarity: Montana rare plant; Whitman County rare
Comments: listed for Whitman County in "Field Guide to Selected Rare Vascular Plants of Washington"
Habitat type: prairie
Rare and Endangered Plant Technical Committee of the Idaho Natural Areas Council. Vascular plant species of concern in Idaho. Forestry, Wildlife and Range Experiment Station Bulletin 34. Moscow, ID: University of Idaho; 1981. 161 p.

External links:

  • Spalding's silene PLANTS Profile (
  • "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reopening of Comment Period on the Proposed Threatened Status and Critical Habitat Determination for Silene spaldingii" ( article)
  • WA Department of Natural Resources Silene spaldingii
    (HMTL     PDF)