Matted shrub with erect stems. Twigs much-branched and hairy when young. Evergreen leaves needle-like, alternate, with edges rolled under; undersides whitish; upper surface a deep shiny green. Flowers on reddish hairy stalks clustered at stem top among leaves. Pink to rose petals fused into a 1/3 in. long cup with 5 rolled-back lobes. Style protrudes while 10 stamens are within the cup. Grows in acid soils in moist meadows and seeps in subalpine, alpine. The genus is named for a sea nymph. Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778), father of the binary naming system for plants, also started the custom of naming members of the heath family after nymphs and goddesses.
- Rarity: Common
- Flowering Time: All Summer
- Life Cycle: Perennial
- Height: 4--15
- Habitat: Meadow, Alpine, Subalpine
- Found In: Olympic Np, Mt. Rainier Np, N Cascades Np, Crater Lake Np, Wallowas, West Gorge
- Native: Yes