General: fibrous-rooted perennial from a stout branched rhizome or root crown, mostly 10-60 cm tall, the stem usually minutely spreading-short-stiff-hairy.
Leaves: hairless, the basal ones (mostly on separate short shoots) well developed, stalked, the well-marked, mostly undivided, obovate-spatulate to oblong or ovate blades up to 8 cm long and 3.5 cm wide. The stem leaves opposite, 1-3 pairs, the lowest often stalked and undivided, the others mostly pinnatifid, with few and reduced side lobes which are rarely as much as 1 cm wide.
Flowers: many in a top cluster mostly 1.5-5 cm wide at flowering, often not much enlarged in fruit. Flowers ordinarily all perfect. Corolla white, 4-7 mm long, commonly slightly hairy outside, the 5 lobes scarcely half as long as the tube which is somewhat humped on 1 side. Stamens well protruding. The narrow calyx segments mostly 10-17.
Fruits: achenes, ribbed, 3.5-5.5 mm long, mostly lance-oblong or lance-linear, short-hairy or sometimes hairless, tipped with a tuft of feathery hairs.
Open, often rocky slopes at moderate to high elevations in the mountains, often near snow banks, in s.w. parts of MT. Also from s. OR to CA, AZ and NM.
Our specimen belong to var. pubicarpa (Rydb.) Cronq., which has short-hairy achenes.
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