Tuft from woody creeping stems. Leaves thin, oval, entire. Basal leaves on petioles; stem leaves opposite, clasping, with tips pointing upward on erect stems rising from woody base. Inflorescence without glands, a series of dense whorls of small downward-facing flowers atop stem. Flowers blue or purple, to 3/4 in. long, tube floor white, lobes spreading, few yellow hairs on staminode. Grows in rocky slopes, subalpine, alpine, at mid to high elevations. Var. procerus is up to 24 in. tall, with more than 1 flower cluster on stem, few basal leaves; found at mid elevations. Var. formosus, with well-developed basal rosette, is usually less than 6 in. tall, with single flower cluster on stem; grows in subalpine, alpine. Var. tolmiei is 2–6 in. tall, with blue or sometimes yellowish flowers, usually a single flower cluster; common form found in high Cascades and Olympics.
- Rarity: Locally Common
- Flowering Time: Mid Summer
- Life Cycle: Perennial
- Height: 2--12 inches
- Habitat: Alpine, Subalpine, Shrub-Steppe
- Found In: Siskiyous, Steens, Wallowas, Mt. Rainier Np, N Cascades Np, Olympic Np
- Native: Yes