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Dwarf shrubs, 1-9 cm tall, forming rhizomatous mats; branches erect, flexible at base, weakly to strongly glaucous; twigs brownish, smooth.
Alternate, simple, elliptic to egg-shaped or nearly circular, 0.5-3.2 cm long, 0.8-1.8 cm wide, lower surface not glaucous, smooth or hairy, hairs white; upper surface shiny, smooth, margins entire, bases and tips pointed to rounded; leaf stalks without glandular dots at top; stipules absent or rudimentary.
Unisexual, lacking sepals and petals, borne in catkins which flower as leaves emerge, the catkins stout, on leafy twigs; floral bracts dark, smooth or hairy, hairs straight or wavy; stamens 2; ovaries 1, hairy; styles 0.7-1.6 mm long.
Capsules which split open to release the seeds, each of which is surrounded by a tuft of hairs; stalks 0.2-0.7 mm long.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia