General: perennial with a taproot and usually a branched stem base. Stems usually several and more or less similar, trailing to almost erect, up to 50 cm tall. Herbage generally more or less silvery with fine, short, loose hairs, sometimes also with small bristles, mostly ascending or flat except among the flowers.
Leaves: prominently veined, all entire or sometimes some of them with a pair of small side lobes or leaflets at the base of the blade. Basal leaves tufted and persistent, narrowly to broadly elliptic, stalked, the ones on the stem alternate, progressively reduced and becoming stalkless.
Flowers: numerous in usually rather short and compact, coiled clusters. The 5 calyx lobes stiff-hairy on the edges. Corolla dull whitish to lavender or dull purple, 4-7 mm long and broad, with 5 short, rounded lobes. The 5 filaments conspicuously protruding, usually with long, soft hairs near the middle.
Fruits: capsules, 2-chambered, with 2 to several seeds per chamber.
In dry, open places at all elevations, often in sand, in w., c. and s.e. parts of MT. Also from s. B.C. and Alberta to CA, CO and w. NE.
Our specimen belong to var. hastata Dougl. ex Lehm.
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