Mountain-trumpets are annual or perennial herbs, mostly taprooted, slightly or barely foul-smelling, with alternate leaves (or the lower leaves opposite), entire to variously cut into fine segments, but without well-defined leaflets. The flowers are borne in terminal headlike clusters (these reduced to a single flower in one species) which may be overtopped by their supporting branches so that the flowers appear to be on the side or in the forks of the branches. Thw calyx tube is paper-textured, of nearly uniform texture throughout, not ruptured by the developing capsule. The 5 calyx lobes are greenish and commonly more herb-like. The corolla is trumpet-shaped to funnel-shaped, often with a narrow tube, abruptly flaring into a spreading limb with 5 lobes. The color is bluish or pinkish to white, or sometimes salmon or yellow. The 5 stamens are equally or unequally inserted below the recesses of the corolla, and are of equal or unequal length. There are 1-3 seeds per ovary cell, those of the annual species becoming slimy when moistened. The genus consists of about 13 species, native to temperate N. and S. America, mainly in w. U.S., ours are all sharply defined. The three perennial species form a well-marked group within the genus. The name comes from the Greek kolla, glue, referring to the slimy quality of the moistened seeds.
Guide to Identify Presented Species of Genus Collomia
LOW, SPREADING PERENNIAL
C. debilis Alpine Mountain-trumpet Perennial, 10-20 cm tall, with many creeping stems. Rocky mountain slopes.
Flowers pinkish to white, 2-3 cm long, trumpet-shaped with long tube.
Leaves crowded toward the top of the stem, up to 3 cm long and 13 mm wide.