Perennial herb from a short, thick stem-base with fibrous roots; stems erect, 5-40 cm tall; plants smooth, fleshy.
Basal leaves waxy green, the blades oblong egg-shaped to circular or kidney-shaped, 2-12 cm long, margins wavy coarse-toothed, round-toothed, or nearly entire; long-stalked (2-25 cm).
Inflorescence a 1- or 2- (4-) flowered, terminal cyme, the flowers 2-4 cm wide; flower stalks erect, usually leafless or with 1 leaf; petals absent; sepals 6 to 12, white or greenish, tinged bluish on outside, oblong, 8.5-23 mm long; stamens 50 or more.
Follicles, 4 to 15, spreading, linear-oblong, 10-20 mm long, 3-4.5 mm wide; beaks straight or curved, 0.5-1.8 mm long; seeds brown, elliptic, 1.9-2.5 mm long, surface longitudinally wrinkled or grooved.
Two varieties occur in BC:
1. Leaves longer than wide, the margins more sharp-toothed than round-toothed; flowers usually 1 per stem; subalpine and alpine......................... var. leptosepala
1. Leaves nearly as wide as long, the margins subentire to broadly round-toothed; flowers mostly 2 per stem; lowland to subalpine........................... var. biflora (DC.) Lawson