Water status measurements of dominant species from major floodplain plant community types of the North Fork Flathead River, Montana were used to test the accuracy of site moisture gradient relationships postulated from floristic ordinations and site water balance estimates. Analysis of variance tests showed significant differences among the average predawn xylem pressure potential (ψp) of species in several community types. However, additional analyses failed to indicate a significant degree of association between averaged predawn Yp measurements and either floristic ordination or site water balance results. Sixty eight percent of 22 trials comparing the diurnal average ψp of the same species in different community types on the same day were less negative for a species in the wetter community types as predicted by floristic ordinations. Similarly, 64% of the trials indicated that the diurnal average stomatal conductance was higher for a species in the wetter type. These results suggest that although a floodplain moisture gradient exists, it alone does not limit the distribution of floodplain plant communities in the North Fork.