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Low to medium shrub, 0.5-2.5 m tall, from creeping rhizome, often forming thickets; stems erect, much-branched, the slender branchlets usually somewhat woolly, later becoming smooth.
Alternate, deciduous, short-stalked, oblong to egg-shaped, 3-10 cm long, coarsely toothed mostly above the middle, dark green and smooth above, paler and woolly-hairy to smooth beneath.
Inflorescence a branched, narrowly conic to cylindric, dense terminal cluster of numerous small flowers, the cluster several times longer than broad, the branches often woolly; corollas deep to pale pink, the petals 5, egg-shaped to round-elliptic, about 2 mm long; calyces fine-hairy to nearly smooth on the outside, 5-lobed, the lobes triangular, bent back, about 1 mm long; ovaries superior; stamens numerous.
Follicles, usually 5, short-beaked, 2-3 mm long, somewhat leathery, smooth except sometimes a few long hairs along the suture, shining; seeds several, spindle-shaped.
Two subspecies occur in BC:
1. Leaves greyish-woolly beneath; plants of the coast................... ssp. douglasii
1. Leaves smooth to hairy, but not greyish-woolly beneath; plants from throughout southern two-thirds of BC.................. ssp. menziesii (Hook.) Calder & Taylor
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia