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Annual herb from a taproot; stems erect, simple to freely branched, nearly smooth to minutely hairy with longer hairs below the inflorescence, 5-25 cm tall.
Alternate, 1-3 cm long, hairless or white-hairy near the base, 1 to 2 times pinnately cleft, the axis narrow and the segments needle-like, the terminal segment elongate.
Inflorescences dense, leafy-bracted heads of several to many, unstalked flowers, terminating the stem and branches; corollas white to pale purple or pale blue, 4-11 mm long, the tube spreading to five egg-shaped lobes less than 2 mm long; stamens exserted from the tube; calyces white tufted-hairy at the mouth, 4-7 mm long, the teeth unequal, spine-tipped, the larger teeth sometimes 3-pronged.
Capsules, 2-chambered; seeds 3 to 5 per chamber, brown, pitted, becoming sticky when moistened.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia