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Perennial herb from thick stem-bases with short rhizomes, sometimes with bulblets; flowering stem 1, 10-30 cm tall, hairy to nearly smooth below, glandular-hairy above, the glands mostly reddish or purplish.
Basal leaves egg-shaped to triangular, 2-7 cm long, 1-4 cm wide, gradually tapered at base, entire or minutely toothed, usually fringed, sometimes smooth, but often with rusty, tangled hairs below, the stalks 15-50 mm long; stem leaves lacking.
Inflorescence a terminal cluster of flowers, compact, cylindric, the bracts usually linear to linear-lanceolate, some with rusty, woolly hairs; petals usually whitish or yellowish, 1-2 mm long, narrowly elliptic to round; calyces cone-shaped, joined to the base of the ovary, free hypanthium absent, the lobes egg-shaped to triangular, as long as or longer than petals, spreading, sometimes bent back; stamens 10.
Follicles, 3.5-5 mm long, often reddish or purplish; seeds brown, about 0.6 mm long, lightly wrinkled lengthwise.
Some material east of the Cascade Mountains appears to approach var. claytoniaefolia (Canby ex Small) Elvander in some aspects but these plants are not sufficiently distinct from var. nidifica.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia