General: perennial from a usually deep-seated taproot and crown, with many sprawling, simple or branched stems, these commonly becoming very slender and rhizomelike toward the base, the whole plant forming a loose mat often several dm across. Herbage short-hairy or glandular-short-hairy to almost hairless.
Leaves: alternate, tending to be crowded toward the top of the stem, short-stalked, the blade up to about 3 cm long and 13 mm wide, entire to dissected, depending on variety.
Flowers: several, stalkless or short-stalked in small clusters at the ends of the stems, with leafy bracts at the bases. Corolla showy, tubular-funnel-shaped, 12-35 mm long, blue or lavender to pink, white, or even ochroleucous, the tube (including the gradually expanded throat) much longer than the 5 lobes. Stamens equally inserted well below the recesses, from shortly included to shortly protruding, the filaments equal or unequal.
Shifting talus slopes at high elevations in the mountains (var. camporum at lower elevations), in w. and s.c. parts of MT. Also from WA to n. CA, c. UT and w. WY.
var. camporum Pays.: Leaves relatively narrow and elongate, all entire or merely with a few sharp, small teeth, more or less strongly pointed, or the lower more blunt-tipped. Corolla mostly 1.5-2.5 cm long. Low elevations, vicinity of the n. fork of the Salmon R., Lemhi Co., ID, northward to Missoula, MT.
var. debilis (S. Wats.) Greene: Leaves mostly shorter and broader, varying from all entire to often some or many of them more or less deeply 3- to 5-lobed or -cleft, the blade (when unlobed) rounded to slightly pointed. Corolla mostly 1.5-2.5 cm long. High elevations in the mountains from c. UT and n.e. NV to w. WY, w. MT, c. ID, c. and n.e. OR, and the Cascades of WA.
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