General: perennial, more or less tufted from a loose or
compact, woody rhizome-base at the surface, 5-40 cm tall,
slender-stemmed, essentially hairless throughout, or with
Leaves: deep green, entire, the basal ones stalked,
oblanceolate to elliptic or ovate, up to 10 cm long and 1.5
cm wide, often poorly developed or absent. Stem leaves
opposite, few, mostly stalkless, up to 8 cm long and 2 cm
wide, often much smaller, especially when the basal leaves
are well developed.
Flowers: cluster of few very dense whorls, the flowers
more or less nodding. Calyx 3-6 mm long, the segments
with slender points, the edges tending to be membranous
and often ragged. Corolla deep blue-purple, 6-11 mm long,
the tube narrow, 2-3 mm wide at the mouth, the limb more
or less spreading, the palate and the thickened tip of the
staminode bearded. Pollen sacs 0.3-0.7 mm long, hairless,
rounded, becoming opposite and spread out straight.
Flowering time: June-August.
Fruits: capsules 4-5 mm long, seeds about 1 mm long.
Dry meadows and open or timbered slopes from the foothills
to above timber line, in w. and c. parts of MT. Also from AK
and Yukon to CA and CO.
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