Shrubs 3-20(-30) cm; twigs terete, without old leaves. Leaves: petiole winged, 1-4(-5) mm, glabrous; blade ovate, obovate, or oblanceolate, (10-)15-30(-60) × 10-20(-30) mm, base attenuate-cuneate, decurrent onto petiole, apex acute, obtuse, or rounded, surfaces not or slightly rugose, glabrous. Inflorescences 2-5-flowered; bracts broadly ovate, (5-7 mm), membranous, (margins densely ciliate). Pedicels 0.6 mm. Flowers: sepals pale green or yellow, 0.8-1.2 mm, apex acute; corolla whitish to cream, urceolate, 3.5-4.5 mm, lobes spreading, whitish to cream, ovate, 1 mm, glabrous except for hairs on adaxial surface; stamens 1.5-2 mm; anthers reddish, becoming yellow, 0.6-0.7 mm, horns 0.2-0.3 mm. Fruits brick red or scarlet, 6-10(-12) mm diam. Pyrenes 2.5-3 × 1.6-2.2 mm. 2n = 26. Flowering summer. Rocky and gravelly, arctic or alpine tundra, often in calcareous soils, coastal limestone heaths, swampy woods; 0-2500 m; Alta., B.C., Man., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.W.T., Nunavut, Ont., Que., Sask., Yukon; Alaska, Wyo.; e Asia.