Inflorescences 2-5-flowered; bracts whitish or streaked purple. Flowers: perianth lobes widely spreading; pedicel 6-35 mm, longer than bracts. 2n = 18, 36, 54. Flowering time highly variable with elevation. Deserts, xeric grasslands, open scrub; 300--2100 m; Ariz., Calif., Nev., N.Mex., Utah; n Mexico (Sonora). The characterisics listed for subsp. pauciflorum may be found to some degree also in subsp. capitatum, intergrading especially along distributional boundaries. However, the adaptation of subsp. pauciflorum to a desert-type environment usually distinguishes it from most populations of subsp. capitatum, which typically is found in more mesic habitats. Since the two taxa are not clearly distinct, G. Keator (1991) concluded that subspecific status is appropriate for them.