Annual herb from a slender taproot; stems erect or spreading, 5-15 (40) cm tall, wiry, usually branched, often sprawling, peeling; hairs spreading, usually coarse, also sparsely glandular-hairy in inflorescence.
Alternate, linear to narrowly elliptic, (5) 10-30 mm long, entire to remotely toothed.
Inflorescence a leafy-bracted, nodding, terminal raceme; flowers unstalked or with short stalks; hypanthium 1.5-2 mm long; petals 3-5 mm long, yellow, fading reddish; sepals 2.5-4 mm long; stamens noticeably unequal, the longer set nearly twice the length of the shorter.
Capsules, linear, 2-4 cm long, only about 1 mm thick, cylindric, swollen by seeds, arched to nearly coiled, nearly stalkless, 4-chambered; seeds in 1 row per chamber, 0.7-0.9 mm long, shiny, minutely pitted.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Oenothera contorta Douglas ex Lehm.
Oenothera cruciata (S. Watson) Munz, nom. illeg., non Oenothera cruciata Nutt. ex G. Don
Oenothera dentata auct. non Cav.
A dried or senesced Rumex acetosella may superficially resemble Camissonia contorta from a distance as both plants can be very small and may be the same shade of red. Close examination should immediately eliminate any confusion.
Source: British Columbia Conservation Data Centre