Soboliferous perennial, without turions; stems loosely clustered, scaly and rhizome-like at the base, 0.5-1.5 dm, often forming small, loose mats or cushions, tending to be sigmoidally curved rather than strictly erect, the lower part puberulent in decurrent lines, the upper part usually more generally puberulent and commonly somewhat glandular; lvs sessile or short-petiolate, often crowded, entire or obscurely few-toothed, mostly 1-2 cm, blunt; infl nodding to erect; fls few, axillary, the pedicels to 2 cm in fr; pet anthocyanic, 3.5-6 mm; fr 2-3.5(-4) cm, glabrous or sparsely glandular-hairy; seeds finely cellular-roughened or papillate (at 20ש; coma readily deciduous;
2n=36. Wet places, sometimes on talus, with us at upper elev. in the mts.; circumboreal, s. to Me., n. N.H., n. N.Y., and the Rocky Mts. June-Aug. We have only the widespread var. alpinum, with slender frs ca 1 mm (seldom to 1.5 mm) thick, and seeds mostly 0.7-1.3 mm. (E. anagallidifolium)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.