Perennial herb from a large, branched, fleshy root and simple stem-base; stems erect, several, branched, 10-30 cm tall.
Basal leaves numerous, linear-oblanceolate to narrowly spoon-shaped, 2-10 cm long, 3-8 mm wide; stem leaves alternate, bractlike, entire to gland-toothed, 2-3 cm long, reduced above.
Inflorescence an open, branched, panicle with many flowers on stalks 1-2 cm long; floral bracts glandular-toothed, petals 7-9 (rarely 11), white with pink veins to rose, egg-shaped, 5-13 mm long; sepals 2, glandular-toothed; stamens 5-6.
Capsules, egg-shaped; seeds usually 3 (1-5), deep brown-red to black, shiny, 1.5-2 mm long.
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
|ESSF(1), MS(2), PP(1)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
Two varieties recognized in British Columbia. Hershkovitz and Hogan in Flora North America online(2012) describe these as follows:
var. columbiana "Cauline leaves markedly reduced, inter-grading with bracts; blade margins entire or eglandular-toothed. Inflorescences: basal-most bract margins entire or eglandular-toothed. Petals pale pink to pink-magenta, 7-11 mm
var. rupicola "Cauline leaves usually absent. Inflorescences: basalmost bract margins glandular-toothed. Petals pale pink to deep purple-magenta or rose, (10-)12-13 mm
Hershkovitz and Hogan(2012) raise a question about var. rupicola in BC: "B. L. Davidson (2000) noted that the United States populations have pink to magenta petals, whereas the British Columbia populations have white to pale pink petals characteristic of the other varieties. Mathew questioned the assignment of the British Columbia plants to this variety."